An assisted living facility on the city’s north side is expanding next year due to an increased demand for senior housing.
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Springfield Assisted Living, 2981 Vester Ave., is building a new wing to increase its capacity from 76 to 96 units, owner Eamon Burgess said.
The City Planning Board unanimously recommended approval for changes to the facility’s development plan at last Monday’s meeting, said Stephen Thompson, the planning, zoning and code enforcement administrator for the city of Springfield. No one made objections to the project at the meeting, he said.
The Springfield City Commission is expected to host a public hearing on the changes next month, Thompson said.
The new wing will also include a larger activities room, an expanded dining room and new parking spaces, Burgess said.
Construction is expected to begin this winter and could open by late summer, he said. Burgess would not comment on project costs.
Burgess purchased the more than 5-acre facility for about $3 million in January of 2016, according to Clark County Auditor’s records. At the time, the facility had about 30 vacant units, he said.
Eight months later, the facility was fully occupied and now has a waiting list — which created the need for more units.
“We all know that the baby boomers are getting into retirement or they’re a little bit older,” he said. “Now that the housing market has finally bounced people have discovered they can sell their house, make a good amount of money and downsize.”
Some are choosing to live at assisted living facilities where they can receive help on certain things, Burgess said. The facility has about 40 employees, including 30 full-time, he said.
“Basically, they’re able to have more money in their pocket and not take care of a large home on their own,” he said. “ The residents of the building are also excited and the employees as well. We’re really excited about expanding and growing with city of Springfield and helping out with the need that’s there.”
More than 15 percent of the Ohio’s population is older than 65, a group which makes up more than 1 in 7 Americans. In 2013, seniors represented nearly 18 percent of the Clark County population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
By 2035, 40 percent of Clark County will likely be eligible for membership at United Senior Services, which serves adults ages 55 and older in Clark County.
An $8 million to $12 million, 100-bed Trilogy skilled care center is currently being constructed on North Bechtle Avenue, which is expected to bring more than 100 jobs to Springfield.
Several senior housing and skilled-care facilities have expanded in Springfield in recent years, including major upgrades at both the Springfield Masonic Community and Oakwood Village. The expansion on Vester Avenue is another example of the growing industry of caring for seniors, Thompson said.
“It’s an expanding market,” he said.
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By the numbers
76: Current units at Springfield Assisted Living on Vester Avenue.
96: Units proposed as part of expansion.
17.5: Percentage of Clark County residents who are older than 65, according to U.S. Census Data.
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