Crestwood Board of Aldermen OKs senior living facility

By BURKE WASSON

By May 2007, the city of Crestwood should have a new 132-dwelling senior living facility added to the Value City parking lot near Watson and Grant roads.

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen approved a final subdivision plat Feb. 28 by a 7-0 vote for Spectrum Acquisition Partners, an affiliate of Spectrum Retirement Communities of Denver, Colo., to construct a three-story residential center for senior citizens. Ward 2 Alderman Jim Kelleher was absent.

Spectrum representative Jeff Kraus said construction on Spectrum Senior Living of Crestwood likely would begin in May and take close to a year to build.

Kraus, along with Greg Markling of MOA Architectural Partnership, based in Denver, Colo., and Steve Quigley of the Clayton Engineering Co., based in St. Louis, presented the Board of Aldermen with plans for the facility last week.

The maximum 150-resident senior living facility will be spread across 4.4 acres at 8800 Watson Road.

Access to the senior living facility will be from the Value City entrance at Grant Road.

Markling told aldermen that because of sloping done in the area’s landscaping design, the three-story residential building will not be obtrusive to the eye and have only a minimal visible impact on nearby neighbors.

The majority of the new senior living facility will be residential and will include 28 studio, 78 one-bedroom and 26 two-bedroom apartments.

Kraus confirmed that rental costs at the senior living facility would range from $1,600 to $1,800 per month for a studio apartment starting at 400 square feet. A two-bedroom apartment in the building would start at $2,800 per month, and the largest such apartment is slated to be 975 square feet.

Besides housing, there are several other functions covered by monthly rent, including all meals, housekeeping, activities, transportation and 24-hour supervision. Kraus said rent also covers all utilities except for residents’ telephone lines.

Both Kraus and Crestwood Public Works Director Jim Eckrich said the center’s 24-hour supervision does not make it an assisted living facility, but that staff would be continuously present if necessary with more than 25 employees working at any one time. Each residential unit also will contain its own emergency button if help is needed.

Future residents will also utilize kitchen areas, a dining room, physical therapy/fitness area, arts/crafts area, coffee house, library, courtyard, back yard, fenced area, playground and 114-space parking lot.

That parking lot will also be constructed with flush curbing to allow for easier handicap accessibility.

The average age of residents in the new Crestwood senior living facility is projected to be 83, according to Spectrum associates. Spectrum officials said anyone wanting to live in the new facility must be a senior citizen older than the age of 55.

Resident David Brophy voiced concerns to the Board of Aldermen that the new senior living facility will be in violation of the Crestwood Fair Housing Act, which states that no one will be denied residence due to a variety of factors, including age.

City Attorney Rob Golterman said federal law permits age-restrictive housing and that any ordinance passed by the city to allow people younger than 55 to live in senior centers would be trumped at the federal level.

While each alderman present ultimately voted in favor of the senior living center, some of them had a few questions and concerns of their own for the facility’s developers before they made their final decision.

Ward 3 Alderman Jerry Miguel said on more than one occasion that he would like to see the developers add some sort of brick exterior to the facility’s outside walls because he believes brick structures are reflective of the St. Louis area.

Kraus and Markling both said while plans for the facility include no brick structures, the possibility still could be considered.