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.