Dayton Business Journal - Friday, January 16, 2009

Independent living development in the works for Harrison Twp.

Dayton Business Journal - by Mary Beth Lehman DBJ Staff Reporter

Harrison Township will get a new senior living community this year if a developer’s plan for 25 acres holds.

Clayton-based Ideal Co. LLC paid $339,000 on Dec. 22 for the land from Harson Investments Ltd., which does business as Singer Properties. The land — on East Woodbury Drive — is now poised for an independent living community that could bring around 50 one-, two- and three-bedroom condominium-type units to the township, according to township officials.

Representatives from Ideal declined to comment on plans for the land until they were closer to finalizing the deal.

The property is adjacent to the existing assisted living facility Spring Hills Singing Woods. Spring Hills, built by Ideal, has a total population of 78 residents, according to Dayton Business Journal research.

Alex Kolodesh, partner with Oakwood-based Singer Properties, said the development plan, though not finalized yet, would likely create an independent living community that would work in conjunction with Spring Hills. Kolodesh said he did not know how much Ideal planned to spend on developing the land, but said it would likely include around 50 units, a pool and a clubhouse.

“Once it’s done though, most people are going to look at it, and it’s going to look good. It will be good for Harrison Township,” Kolodesh said.

While costs for the project were not available, similar facilities of that size have cost several million dollars to build. Centerville-based Bethany Lutheran Village, the region’s fourth largest assisted living and retirement community, is finishing 30 standalone villas and 30 apartments, along with other projects, at a pricetag of $47 million. Miller-Valentine Group has completed several similar projects including its latest in Milford, which will cost $17 million and consist of a 148,000-square-foot, three-story building with a mix of 125 studio, one bedroom and two bedroom units.

Kris McClintick, development director for Harrison Township, said he was excited when he learned in December of the planned development for the land.

More than 14 percent of Harrison Township’s population is 65 or older, and more than 25 percent are older than 55, according to 2006 census data McClintick provided. With the addition of an independent living community for seniors who require little-to-no care, McClintick said it would help to keep a major portion of the community in the township.

“This is very exciting,” he said. “We’ve got some very nice senior housing options, but we do not have very many independent living options. We’re very excited about the prospect of more people staying in the township.”

Because the land already has been zoned office, which includes nursing homes and similar facilities, Ideal has not yet had to file any paperwork with the township and will not have to face public hearings, McClintick said. From this point on, the company only will need to file zoning, building and stormwater permits as it moves along with the project. However, the developer has informed the township it would like to have all the approval finished and roads started around spring and start building in the summer, McClintick said.

Although he would not be involved in the development of the land, Kolodesh said he looked forward to seeing the area built out. Singer retained about 1.7 acres of the site and is interested in building medical offices or general office space in the area.

There’s potential if all 25 acres purchased for the independent living community are not used, that there would be even more room leftover to develop. The extra space would lend itself to a development that could rival Good Samaritan North in size and number of services, Kolodesh said. Space could be leased in the new development at $18 to $20 a square foot, which would also make it competitive, he added.

“Our hope is between what we do there and at Miller Lane that people are driven to that area,” Kolodesh said.

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