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$10 Million Nursing Home Facility Could Locate in Fenton

A I00-bed nursing home would be on 30 acres of stalled Pine Creek North housing development; future growth of MediLodge facility there possible.

MediLodge has submitted proposal for a "next generation" $10 million-plus senior citizens' skilled nursing and rehabilitative services facility, in a vacant area of a Fenton subdivision.

It would be almost a high-end hotel, with extensive physical therapy space, a health spa, food program and JavaLodge for visitors, said Daniel DeRemer, an architect for JW Design Architectural Studio in Royal Oak. Although it would be open 24/7 to visitors, visits to MediLodge residents are usually during business hours, he said. The facility would add 80 to 100 jobs, and construction would begin around fall 2013.

DeRemer and a representative for Pine Creek North sought feedback from city council at Monday's work session. The proposed development would be on 30 acres of the Pine Creek North Planned Unit Development (PUD), on the townhouse portion of the site closest to the Eddy Lake Road entrance, Zoning and Building Administrator Brad Hissong reported to city council in an Aug. 3 memo.

In addition, future plans include the possible development of additional townhouses for senior citizens, next to the existing townhouses, Hissong said.

The proposal requires planning commission and city council approval. City planning consultant Carmine Avantini said MediLodge needs the planning commission to amend the PUD and grant final site plan approval, and for the city council to give its approval.

Pine Creek North consists of 90 acres, said James Galbraith, president of Lautrec, Ltd. of Farmington Hills, a representative for Pine Creek North. Initial planing for Pine Creek North took place in the late 1990s, and Fenton approved the PUD and plat for the property in 2005. At that time, the housing market crashed, and development of the site stalled.

Some single family and attached residential units were completed, while others weren't, Galbraith said. Pine Creek Drive was improved, and a connecting roadway to Sixth Street were completed.

They had the chance to sell the northern part of the site, north of Pine Creek Drive, to MediLodge, he said. "We are very excited."

DeRemer said MediLodge's proposed site plan is preliminary. MediLodge is looking at using part of the site for a nursing home, and it could add single family, single-story housing units associated with the nursing at some point in the future. The first phase of the development would be the single-story nursing home, which would be Medicaid- and Medicare-licensed and accept other forms of insurance.

Plans are for a 100-bed facility. And 80 percent of the rooms would be private, with the other 20 percent semi-private, he said. It would feature small areas for dining, small living rooms and many private areas away from commotion.

In addition, the facility would have a lot of physical therapy space, with the goal of having clients able to return home sooner, DeRemer said. Clients could recuperate from surgery there, such as knee and hip replacements.

Long-term care for Alzheimer's and memory care patients also would be included. MediLodge facilities usually have 30-35 beds for these patients.

"It's a beautiful development," Mayor Sue Osborn said. "We look forward to it."

Councilman Les Bland said he believes it would be a super use of the land, which has been sitting there without being developed for the last seven years.

Roads aren't completed yet, Bland said. The top layer wasn't paved.

Hissong said Fenton will probably have MediLodge set aside bond money, to make sure the paving is completed.

Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl King asked about walkability for visitors.

Parking for them will be less than 100 feet from the building, DeRemer said. In addition, there would be a covered drop-off area at the entrance. MediLodge had a marking study performed, Galbraith said. It's been about 15-month process so far. DeRemer said MediLodge looked at nine different sites, and Pine Creek North is one of the most promising.

The property owners believe MediLodge would be very compatible, from a residential standpoint. Also, Galbraith said, a MediLodge facility would anchor the Pine Creek North development and hopefully re-energize it as the property owners complete the rest of their single family development. An important factor in the rest of the housing being completed is the market, he added.

"We anticipate being able to start building in the subdivision in the not too distant future," he said.

MediLodge has a facility in Montrose that is its first next generation nursing home, DeRemer said. It has 17 other nursing homes in Southeast Michigan.

uknowimright August 07, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Nobody can afford that around the Fenton/Holly area. Put it in Bloomfield Hills or someplace like that!
J.S August 08, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Well said!.... The city needs to step back and remember that this is a small town. always has, always will be. You can only do so much in a town of our size. I find it odd that the city can just re-zone that area from residential to commercial at the snap of a finger. Im sure the few houses that are back there right now are just delighted to be shadowed by a large commercial complex depleting their property values.....
John January 06, 2013 at 11:36 PM
We actually live back in 1 of those houses and I can say we are against them building this back here. This is a subdivision, if I wanted to live next to commercial property that is what we would of done. We have a lot of small kids back here and I can only imagine what the traffic will be like. And with the property values as low as they are we can't just sell and move. This is a beautiful area back here that will completly change from a nice family neighborhood to a nuisance area. And I think it's funny that we can't get the city to plow our roads because they aren't up to their standards, but they can turn this into commercial property at the snap of their fingers!
Lisa Hatfield January 07, 2013 at 02:09 AM
I agree John! People moved there with their families for a reason. We enjoy walking in that area because it is peaceful and the people in your subdivision are all friendly. If they build this property, there will be so much traffic and it will be a danger to the community around it.
movinon January 07, 2013 at 09:20 AM
Traffic phoey! If builders can't put houses on their property they will put something else there. Do you think the powers that be really care about whether or not you can walk your dog on a builders empty lot? Construction projects are needed to put construction workers back to work. A place like MediLodge will build a nice place that will put a lot of money into the state and local economy and give many people needed jobs. uknowimright, you have no idea of the kind of money that goes through your 'small town' and I doubt you can stop it. They have 'big' plans for Fenton.
John January 07, 2013 at 10:26 AM
@movinon I agree that the money would be nice for Fenton and for workers. But there are plenty of places along Grange Hall or Owen rd. or Silver Lk. That are commercial areas that are now sitting vacant. There is no need to build a commercial property in the middle of a planned subdivision. This was a nice planned community with 2 story houses and nice condos. Now they want to put in a bunch of ranches. So the few 2 story houses that are back there will be the only ones. Lowering the value of those homes even more. If they want to buy out those properties then I will consider it. But if not then we will probably just walk away from our home. We are already upside down and this will just make it permanent.
Rachel January 07, 2013 at 11:52 PM
It's not about walking a dog on a builder's empty lot, it's about not having 80-100 employees, plus visitors, patients, and ambulances driving down our residential street every day. It's about proper zoning and the city following their own ordinances so that we don't have outpatient medical facilities in the middle of a residential subdivision. I fully support putting construction workers back to work, right here in Pine Creek North, by completing the subdivision as intended.

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