M'ville panel pleased with plans for memory care facility

2013-10-01T21:00:00Z 2013-10-02T00:23:06Z M'ville panel pleased with plans for memory care facilityChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
October 01, 2013 9:00 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | The Plan Commission displayed overwhelming support of a proposed memory care facility Whiteco Industries is pursuing.

The facility would be a single-story building that is about 32,000 square feet, Ken Antaramian, of KC Development, said during Tuesday's commission workshop. KC Development, which specializes in the construction and operations of assisted living and memory care facilities, is collaborating with Whiteco on the project, said John Howard, of Whiteco.

The "high-end" facility proposed for 7800 Rhode Island St. would have 48 to 50 rooms for residents diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, Antaramian said.

"It is a need," Plan Commission member Brian Dering said. "It's a great need everywhere."

The plans call for an interior courtyard that would have a butterfly garden and other amenities for activities for residents.

Howard estimated the project could cost between $10 million to $15 million.

Chet Bradeen, of KC Development, said keeping residents "extremely involved and active" will be an emphasis at the facility.

Bradeen said providing an active lifestyle can help patients with dementia sleep during the night, which can be time when they are restless.

"I think it's a wonderful, wonderful fit for the town," Dering said.

In addition to filling a need for memory care facilities in the area, the project looks to create 40 permanent jobs, Bradeen said.

On multiple occasions, Dering asked Whiteco representatives to thank Whiteco CEO Dean White "for bringing something beautiful to the town."

Whiteco is seeking approval of a conceptual planned unit development request for the project.

Dering and several other commission members said they will be voting in favor of the project during the panel's Oct. 15 public meeting.

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