In 1982, the Army Residence Community (ARC) began as the vision of three retired Army officers, MG William L. Starnes, MG Donnelly P. Bolton, and MG George M. Wallace, II. Their vision was to create a retirement community that would serve career military officers, their spouses, and widows in a community of shared values and interests. They wanted to redefine retirement living by bringing together people with an active outlook on life. They formed The Army Retirement Residence Foundation – San Antonio, which was incorporated as a nonprofit organization under the provisions of paragraph 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) insurance company then provided the organization with office space, administrative support, and a $50,000 grant to get started.
A small group of dedicated volunteers set out to identify and purchase land, begin preliminary architectural plans, and establish policies for the organization. In 1983, 50 acres of land were purchased in Northeast San Antonio, and a $3.4 million loan from USAA Financial Services made the project a reality.
Construction began in 1985, and the doors of the Army Residence Community officially opened on January 12, 1987 – thus, bringing to realization the expectations of those wanting to live among close friends who have shared the camaraderie of a lifetime of military service.
Since then, the ARC has expanded by purchasing 93 acres of land adjacent to the south side of the original 50-acre main campus. Additional living units were added along with expanded Health Care and amenities that make the ARC the premier Life Plan community that it is today – including 450 Independent Living homes, 48 Assisted Living Apartments at Lakeside Villas, 30 Assisted Living Apartments, 91 Long-term care beds, all of which are dedicated Skilled Nursing Medicare Beds, and 18 Memory Care beds. The community boasts its own movie theater, chapel, three dining venues, state-of-the-art fitness center, medical clinics, rehabilitation facilities, putting green, dog park, and numerous clubs and activities that contribute to the wellness of mind, body, and spirit.
The ARC is governed by a 16-member Board of Directors, including four ARC residents as voting members. The ARC is a member of LeadingAge, a trade association representing the full continuum of mission-driven, not-for-profit aging services providers.
Since 2023, The ARC now welcomes any commissioned officer, and noncommissioned officer (E-8 & E-9) retired or honorably discharged from all branches of service and retired senior level (GS-12 and above) federal employees, including spouses and surviving spouses.
Located in northeast San Antonio near Randolph Air Force Base, Fort Sam Houston, and San Antonio Military Medical Center, the ARC currently serves approximately 750 residents and employs 360 San Antonians.