Despite some residents' concerns about traffic safety, Aurora City Council approved a transitional care facility near Fox Valley Mall.
Seven residents who live near the site of the short-term rehabilitation center spoke before aldermen voted Tuesday night on the plans.
All said they had no opposition to the center, but they were opposed to the way that employees, visitors and ambulances would enter the building.
They wanted to see a right-in, right-out entrance from New York Street, the more-traveled thoroughfare that borders the property in the Plaza on New York Street subdivision. Aldermen approved the project with access from Gabrielle Lane, which residents and Tenth Ward Alderman Lynne Johnson say will create more traffic, which in turn will create safety hazards.
The residents who addressed council said children wait for buses along Gabrielle Lane, and parents wait to pick up and drop off their children. A walking path nearby also is widely used by residents.
"That road was not meant for that kind of traffic," resident Suresh Pabba said after the meeting. "The primary entrance should be off New York Street."
Johnson's was the sole no vote on the project. She proposed an amendment that would require the New York Street access, but it died for lack of a second.
The transitional care facility will be in an area across from Fox Valley Mall that was proposed as five commercial lots in 2005. The developers' attorney, John Philipchuck, said those five lots will be combined and then divided into two lots: one for the care center and the other for future commercial development.
The 60-unit, 53,000-square-foot facility will bring approximately 80 jobs to the area, Philipchuck said.
State health care regulators approved Transitional Care Management's proposal for the Aurora facility, and one in Lisle, in May. Transitional Care Arlington Heights opened a little over a year ago with private suites, a restaurant and cafe, and two therapy gyms. That facility has twice as many units as the Aurora facility will have.
Average stay at Transitional Care of Aurora will be less than a month for individuals who need a bridge between hospital and home, said Project Manager Chris Chancellor of RangeComm Development.
Opening of the estimated $17 million facility is targeted for 2018, Chancellor said.