By Sandra Molina, Whittier Daily News

WHITTIER >> Bob and Kay Murdy are the types of people who not only plan ahead, but also know what they want.

When earlier this year they took a tour of the newly-built Oakmont of Whittier, a retirement and assisted living community, the couple immediately put down a deposit on an apartment.

“We had to downsize,” Bob Murdy, 78, explained of their previous living quarters in a condominium north of Whittier College. “But we didn’t want to leave Whittier.”

Two of the Murdy’s children reside in this city, and two others are in surrounding communities.

On Monday, they were among the first residents to move into the two-story complex at 13617 Whittier Blvd., the former site of a car dealership.

“We have everything here in place that we could want,” Kay Murdy, 79, said.

Oakmont boasts common areas such as indoor and outdoor restaurant-style dining, a bistro, a library, a private family dining room, a movie theater, a fitness center, activity room, salon and day spa, resident gardens and walking paths and a pet park for residents with pets.

“The feedback we have received from those taking tours of Oakmont has been very positive,” said Debbie Infield, executive director of the complex. “They love the environment.”

A marketing study determined that Oakmont, part of a family-owned, Santa Rosa-based, 18-location chain, is a good fit for Whittier, she said.

“Whittier has welcomed us with open arms,” she said. “It’s a city where people are here long-term; they don’t move out.”

The Murdys, who didn’t know their neighbors when they lived in the condominium, are looking forward to building friendships with other residents.

“We ever hardly saw our neighbors, but now with the common areas, we can make new friends,” Bob Murdy said.

They also enjoyed the fact their three meals, provided in the cost of rent, are prepared under the direction of Executive Chef Jason Hosoi, formerly the personal chef of Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

“We can eat when we want and choose from a very good menu,” Kay Murdy said.

It seems the word is out about the amenities at Oakmont, as about 85 percent of the living spaces — 51 assisted living apartments and 19 memory care apartments — have been reserved, said Infield. It will provide 7-day-a-week nursing coverage, Infield said, as well as medication management, housekeeping, health monitoring and assessments and more.