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An Ooltewah development company plans to build a $14 million retirement community on Shallowford Road that will include an assisted living facility, 20 patio homes and a stand-alone medical office building.
The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency gave Independent Healthcare Properties initial approval for the plan Monday. The proposed development will sit on an almost 10 acres at 7721 Shallowford Road.
Independent Healthcare Properties already operates Morning Pointe of Chattanooga just across the road from the proposed development, and the company plans to move that facility to the new site.
The current Morning Pointe of Chattanooga location will then be used solely for Alzheimer's patients and will be called The Lantern at Morning Pointe. Current non-Alzheimer's residents and staff will move across the street to the new development.
"We've been serving seniors in East Brainerd for 12 years and we continue to see a high level of growth," said Greg Vital, president and CEO of Independent Healthcare Properties. "The fastest growing segment of our population is over 65 [years old] and over 85 [years old]. There's a demand in the market to keep our loved ones as part of the community."
The new assisted living facility will be a one-story, 50,000-square-foot building that will sit in the middle of the lot. A 10,000-square-foot office building and a detention pond will sit to the south, closest to Shallowford Road. And to the north of the assisted living facility, farthest from Shallowford Road, will be a group of 20 patio homes, the site plan shows.
When everything is finished, Independent Healthcare Properties will have 60 Alzheimer's units, 60 assisted living units, 20 patio homes and a medical office building. The company will hire an additional 85 people, Vital said.
No one spoke in opposition to the planned development at Monday's meeting, and Vital said the community asked him to consider building on the site.
"We were actually looking at another piece of property about a half-mile down the road," Vital said. "But this site was identified by the neighborhood and they approached us about buying it and moving there."
Planning commission member Larry Henry also spoke in support of the project.
"With all the people I've come in contact with, I've not met one person who's not in favor of this," he said at Monday's meeting. "Mr. Vital and his partner do a class development."
Although the plan earned initial approval Monday, Vital's plan will still need to be approved by the Chattanooga City Council on July 9. If he gets the go-ahead from the Council, Vital hopes to start construction by the fall.
The entire construction process will take about two years. The first stage will be the assisted living facility, which Vital hopes to open by January 2015. The patio homes will be built after the assisted living facility. The construction will create about 200 temporary jobs, Vital said.
Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6525.