East Lansing Council Unanimously Approves New Abbot Road Complex for Seniors

Monday, January 27, 2020, 7:15 am
By: 
Chris Gray

Above: The Provision Living complex in West Bloomfield, showing the style to be used for the East Lansing complex.

Senior citizens will soon have another option for living and seeking care as they age in East Lansing. The City Council gave unanimous approval last week to a complex of facilities on Abbot Road from Provision Living.

Provision Living plans to build and operate an assisted living and memory care building, a four-story independent-living apartment building, and independent-living private villas on the 23-acre site in the northern end of the city. The project is expected to have a look similar to their West Bloomfield complex, shown here:

The East Lansing project location is on the east side of Abbot Road, just south of the East Lansing Family Aquatic Center. The site consists chiefly of former agricultural land and acres of woods. It currently includes a single-family home and a pole barn that will be torn down.

Provision Living plans to leave about 40 percent of the property, or about nine acres, as green space, not counting the 3.5 acres of land that will be included in the setback from the property lines on the periphery.

According to the staff report, about one acre of wetland habitat on the property “will be disturbed” but that is an area “not large enough to be regulated by the City.”

The developers expect to break ground on the first phase of the project in a few months, with completion of the other phases within a few years.

Provision Living plans to construct 83 units of the assisted living and memory care building and 22 independent living villas in the first phase. In later phases, developers plan to add 24 units to the assisted-living and memory care facility as well as 36 more independent villas. Finally, the site will see completion of the construction of the four-story building on the north side, bringing the total units to about 160.

Above: Lobby of the West Bloomfield complex.

Provision Living, a St. Louis-based company founded in 2005, has existing facilities in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and West Bloomfield Township. The company owns and operates senior apartments and assisted living facilities across the Midwest.

“We do own the buildings, but our primary focus is caring for the seniors,” Dave Baylis, a principal at Provision Living, told City Council.

“We’ve been studying East Lansing for several years now,” Baylis said. “For the assisted living and independent living options, we absolutely believe it’s underserved,” with plenty of market demand in the community to justify the project.

Above: Dave Baylis of Provision Health presented to Council on Jan. 21 as City Manager George Lahanas looks on.

According to the site plan application, “The Assisted Living and Memory Care community will contain best‐in‐class building amenities that maximize the resident experience; including a beauty salon, exercise room, therapy space, a theater, restaurant style à la carte dining experience through chef-prepared meals, and a private examination room to allow residents to see a visiting physician without having to leave the community.”

The memory care unit will be geared specifically to residents with Alzheimer’s or related memory loss.

The independent living building will have fitness programs, housekeeping, dining and social activities but otherwise does not have staff to help with basic activities of daily living as will exist at the assisted living facility.

Above: common dining spaces in the West Bloomfield location.

Provision Living also promises a quality work environment for nurses and physicians with about 85 new jobs, and about 25 people working at the facility during peak hours.

The East Lansing Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the new facility last month, and based on its conditioned recommendation, the developers quickly made a minor adjustment to the site plans to allow for a fire truck turnaround at the dead end of a planned private access drive.

Above: An independent-living unit in West Bloomfield; residents bring thier own furnishings for apartments.

The land is subject to a so-called 425 agreement with Meridian Township. That required cooperation between Meridian Township and the City of East Lansing to get all the approvals in place.

“Since this [land] was brought into the City, there have been a number of proposals for this property,” said Council Member Mark Meadows at last week’s meeting. He said that most proposals were primarily for more student housing, miles from campus. “The City Council was very resistant at approving that.”

Meadows said the City’s active efforts in pushing to develop this new part of the city into something that met the citywide needs of more housing for older residents paid off.

“This is a great product for the city of East Lansing,” he said.

Photos of West Bloomfield location provided by Provision Health. Map provided by City of East Lansing. Photo of Baylis by Alice Dreger.

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