Ground breaks on new assisted living center
As Glenwood Springs leaders struggle to find ways to help meet a pent-up demand for attainable middle-income housing, construction began last week on a project that will cater to at least one other demographic that’s in need of housing options.
Plans were approved by City Council nearly three years ago and more recently modified for the Stoney River Assisted Living residences and memory care unit, to be constructed on the 4.3-acre former Sunlight Racquet Club site at the 27th Street and Midland Avenue roundabout.
Once completed, the facility will be able to accommodate 72 assisted living residents and 40 residents who are in need of more intensive memory care, according to Larry Dillin, president of VisCap Development, which is building the project.
The assisted living building will be a two-story structure in the back of the property nearest the Roaring Fork River and will have 60 units. The single-level memory care facility will be near Midland and will have 24 units, 12 of which are to be ADA accessible, according to the construction permit recently pulled for the project.
A third building to house a skilled nursing training center that was approved for the site, will not be built until later.
Originally, when it was approved in June 2013, the project was to have included 22 one- and two-bedroom independent senior living units as well. Those plans were modified after market research indicated a stronger need for assisted living, Dillin said.
“What we’re realizing is that need, as time goes on, will only be increasing,” he said. Residential admission will be determined based on need, rather than having any age restrictions, he added.
The memory unit is expected to be open in 12 months, while the assisted living portion of the project will come on line in about 16 months, Dillin said.
First Phoenix, a Midwest-based company that owns several independent, assisting living and nursing facilities around the country, will be the owner of the new Glenwood Springs facility. Dillin said the owners are currently in negotiations with an operator to be announced later.
The current dirt work and foundation construction that is under way will take about five to six weeks to complete. Framing is scheduled to be complete in August and the roofing in November, according to information provided to city building officials.
VisCap is currently building another memory care facility in Aurora as well, Dillin said. The Glenwood Springs project has been designed by Mudrovich Architects, and Golden Triangle Construction is the general contractor.
Once an operator is on board and a business plan is in place, Dillin said they expect to begin taking applications for the facility about six months prior to opening.
“We will also have some public events in the community prior to that time to introduce the facility and what will be offered,” he said.
The property was previously owned by longtime local developer Terry Claassen, who ushered the assisted living project through the initial development review process in 2013.
Claassen had previously earned approvals in the late 2000s for a high-end hotel and condominium project to be built on the site after the former racquet club was torn down. But that project ran into financial troubles and was never developed.
As a condition of approval for the hotel project, though, Claassen partnered with the city to fund and build the 27th Street roundabout.
Claassen is currently involved in planning for the development of an independent senior living project in Carbondale, as well as one in Montrose.
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