SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The City Council this week approved a major expansion proposed by The Wesley Community, a senior citizen living complex off Lawrence Street.
The plans, approved in a 4-0 vote on Tuesday after about six months of city review, call for renovations that will expand the existing five-story Springs residential building, construction of a new five-story, 100-unit apartment building for seniors, construction of a memory care building for those with dementia, and a new two-story office building. The council vote approved the necessary changes to the Wesley's planned unit development zoning.
Wesley representatives have told the city the construction will take place over the next 10 years, adding room for about 175 more residents at the complex. Construction on each phase will be subject to further review by the city Planning Board before construction starts, but Wesley officials hope to break ground in late 2020.
“The Wesley Community is pleased to receive the support of the Saratoga Springs City Council for this important project, which will expand senior housing options and services for our community,” said J. Brian Nealon, CEO of The Wesley Community.
The new 100-unit apartment building will include 70 independent apartments for low- and middle-income senior citizens, along with 30 supportive housing units for seniors.
Those who require supportive housing have access to more services.
The 25,000-square-foot memory care/assisted living building will have up to 52 units for residents with significant dementia. “Recent statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association showed approximately 5.8 million Americans are currently living with the disease, and this number is projected to grow to 14 million people by 2050," Nealon said.
Finally, the Springs building will be "squared off" at the four corners, adding about 5,500 square feet to the existing building footprint. Overall, it will increase the number of single rooms available, though the number of residents on each floor will decline.
There will also be a new two-story, 4,000-square-foot office building constructed, and an existing residence on Wesley-owned property at 26 Russell St. will be demolished to allow expansion of a storage garage located on that property.
How quickly the Wesley will move isn't yet clear.
The Wesley Community is a 37-acre site operated by a non-profit agency sponsored by United Methodist Health and Housing, Inc. It provides independent and assisted living for seniors, affordable independent senior housing, short-term rehabilitation and long-term care. The facilities on site include the Embury Apartments and Wesley Health Care Center. Wesley has about 700 residents and 625 employees.