Bristol officials have approved a senior-housing developer’s plans to build a 60-unit assisted-living facility on a long vacant property at the corner of Route 6 and North Main Street. The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday approved a special permit and site plan approvals for Fairfield-based Senior Living Development (SLD) to erect a five-story, 60,000-square-foot senior-housing
complex at 483 North Main St. SLD previously received several approvals from the city. Officials say SLD will start construction in September to meet an estimated opening date in late fall 2021. Prospective residents will be able to apply for occupancy in spring 2021. An estimated cost for the development was not provided by the developer or the city. Billed as KindCare Assisted Living, the facility is expected to employ a staff of up to 75 people trained in elderly care and other sanitation measures, officials say. Forteen units will be dedicated to specialized memory care.
Fairfield's Senior Living Development is building a 60-unit assisted living complex on vacant Bristol land at 483 North Main St.
SLD CEO Mark De Pecol said the building has been designed to accommodate remote visitation technology, telehealth services and ultraviolet air handlers meant to limit the spread of viruses and bacteria in the airspace.
Those features are being included as nursing homes across the state have increased safety protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which had claimed the lives of 1,627 nursing home residents as of last Wednesday. Data released for the first time Thursday shows COVID-19 has infected 874 residents and claimed the lives of 276 in Connecticut’s assisted living facilities, according to a CT Mirror report.
De Pecol said the assisted living development, SLD’s first investment in Bristol, will also house a wellness center, a restaurant, bistro, media room, outdoor gardens and other common areas for social activities.
Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu on Thursday said the building design fits what many in the city see as a key gateway to downtown.
“This is a major addition to the downtown revitalization that we have been working toward, parcel by parcel,” Zoppo-Sassu said.
The assisted living facility, the mayor says, also addresses a major need for senior housing in Bristol. Recent data provided by SLD, she said, shows that Bristol has the highest percentage of seniors (those ages 60 or older) per capita in Hartford County, and that a large percentage of those residents live independently.
“When we first met with SLD, it was clear to us that they have done a significant amount of homework to prove to us that this was a viable proposal,” Zoppo-Sassu said. “Anything we can do to add that type of inventory is good for the city.”
SLD began plotting a potential assisted-living development in Bristol after noticing the city was aggressively marketing undeveloped properties within Opportunity Zones, according to Justin Malley, the city’s executive director of economic and community development.
The Opportunity Zone program was created as part of the 2017 federal tax reform law to spur realty- and business-development in the U.S.' neediest communities. It allows taxpayers who invest in qualified Opportunity Zones to be eligible for capital gains tax incentives. “The Opportunity Zone has helped our downtown development efforts,” Malley told HBJ on Friday. “That has put downtown in front of more developers.”
The property was previously home to a mixed-use building that was demolished more than a decade ago, Malley said. Several proposals, including a bank branch, have been eyed for the site in recent years, he said.
The assisted-living facility will be located roughly a half-mile from a $5- million apartment complex being built by Carrier Construction Inc. The complex will include 32 market-rate apartment units in two, three-story buildings when it debuts for prospective residents in the next 18 months.
This story has been updated to include additional comments from Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu
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