Melbourne Village is in its third generation of Middleton/Chakroff family management. In 1959, Barb and Dick Chakroff bought a large Colonial on five acres on Route 23 north of Worthington in which to raise their young family in the peace and quiet of a country setting. Behind the house was a large barn and apple orchard, a perfect place for five kids to romp and play and raise any manner of pets, from dogs and rabbits to pigeons and burros. By the early 1970s, the city had surrounded the country home, the Outerbelt had been constructed to the north, and traffic on High Street no longer made the property attractive as a family home. With the kids leaving the nest, Barb and Dick began considering better options for the property. They settled on an office building (Middleton Place) fronting High Street and a retirement village on the “back four” acres where the barn and orchard were situated.
Current Melbourne Village Director Chris Chakroff’s grandfather, Newell Middleton, conceived of and designed Melbourne Village after managing Stafford Village in Worthington for a number of years. Melbourne Village, named for Newell’s grandfather, Dr. Melbourne Middleton, opened for business in 1974. Newell and his wife, Myra, were its first residents, and Newell managed Melbourne for many years. Myra was instrumental in convincing the Worthington City Council to fund and build the Griswold Senior Center on Worthington Square. Upon Newell’s retirement, his daughter Barb Middleton (Chris’ mother), took over full-time management of Melbourne and continued in that capacity until her death in 2014. Barb also served on the Worthington Parks and Recreation Commission and helped realize construction of the Worthington Community Center.
Today, Chris Chakroff and his wife, Kerri Lee, manage Melbourne Village. They continue the tradition and vision, conceived by Barb, Dick, Myra and Newell, of providing a welcoming community with high quality, comfortable housing at reasonable prices for active, independent seniors.