Planners to consider senior development

Published 10:00 pm Saturday, November 16, 2013

A new 175-unit facility for seniors in Harbour View is on the agenda for next week’s Planning Commission meeting.

The proposed Harbour View Aged Care Facility is planned for 5871 Harbour View Blvd. Suffolk IL-AL Investors is under contract to purchase the property, said Hunter Smith, president of Roanoke-based Smith/Packett, which will own the facility.

“There is a huge need for senior housing in the Tidewater area,” Smith said. “You have a growing elderly population, and really you haven’t had any new services come online in that area.”

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Smith said the $25 million project would include different levels of care, including 24-hour nurses and a dementia unit, and also feature a dining room, commercial kitchen, chapel, laundry service and other amenities.

Smith said the area also offers many restaurants, shopping opportunities and other things residents would enjoy.

“I like hooking into that whole Harbour View area,” he said. “That’s a big plus.”

Conversely, however, the site was chosen for its serene surroundings and distance from other development.

“It’s almost like an island, so we’re not really adjacent to any residential,” Smith said. “It’s over a football field length between us and the closest home. It gives us a nice separation from them and vice versa.”

The company has worked in this area before and already owns other assisted living developments, Smith said. The average age of people in the company’s facilities is about 78.

“That kind of changes where you are,” he said.

Smith said the facility is expected to generate about 70 full-time-equivalent positions, in addition to outside service positions. He is excited about the prospect, he said.

“If you look more at the Suffolk community, this is something they really need.”

The meeting is set for 2 p.m. Tuesday at City Council chambers, 441 Market St. Other topics include amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance.