Works Begins On New Senior Housing

April 28, 2008
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The nonprofit Sunset Association, which operates several senior care facilities in Jenison and Grandville, broke ground this spring on a $26 million apartment building in Georgetown Township. The apartment building is the first phase of a development called Waterford Place.

The first building, now under construction by The Christman Co., includes 84 apartments on four floors, said Chad Tuttle, Sunset executive director. It’s expected to open in 2009.

Over the next five years, as the project is built out, plans call for a total of 333 units, including assisted living and, if available, skilled nursing beds. Nursing home beds are allocated by the state and would require permission from the Michigan Department of Community Health. Tuttle said that component probably would be built in 2013 or later.

Waterford Place is being constructed with seniors in mind, he said. For example, even though the building will be the tallest in town at four stories, all apartments will be able to be reached without using steps. Bathroom walls will be reinforced so that sturdy grab bars can be installed. Carpet will be installed without padding, making it easier to maneuver with a walker.

Tuttle said 52 apartments are being held by deposits.

“We’re marketing them to a younger demographic than we have traditionally served,” Tuttle said. “When I say younger demographic, our average demographic right now is the mid-80s. Our average charter member who have already committed is 74.”

Apartments will range from 703 to 1,225 square feet. Amenities include 30,000 square feet of common areas, such as an art studio, garden room, wood-working room, multimedia room, business center, library, fitness center, a gathering room and a post office. An eight-acre lake already has been installed on the 50-acre site, which also will feature a paved and lighted walking trail.

Tuttle said residents will pay an up-front entry free, which starts at $127,000, as well as a “fully bundled” monthly fee, which starts at $744 and covers telephone service, cable television, Internet service, utilities, common-area maintenance and social activities.

When complete, the development will have 400,000 square feet, Tuttle said.

Sunset Association, with $20.69 million in revenues in 2004, operates Sunset Village and Sunset Manor, both just a few miles from Waterford Place, which is located at 1725 Port Sheldon St.

Sunset Association operates Sunset Manor and Sunset Village, which house 400 people in 384 independent living and assisted living apartments. They offer three levels of assisted living, plus dementia care. It also runs Brookcrest, a 145-bed nursing home and rehabilitation facility; a home health agency, which served more than 400 people in 2007; and the Meals at Home program, which provides food to 150 seniors daily. CQX

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