$150 million redevelopment of Downers Grove senior facility begins
Crews are prepared to break ground Wednesday on a $150 million redevelopment of a Downers Grove senior living facility.
The first phase of renovations to the Oak Trace senior living community are expected to include a health center with 66 assisted-living apartments, 28 memory-support suites and 102 skilled-nursing suites.
"One of the greatest benefits of living at Oak Trace is our promise to provide care when needed," Executive Director Blaire Goldstein said. "The new health center will help ensure we can care for our residents and area seniors long into the future."
Village officials in April said construction of the health care center would cause the demolition of about 20 garden homes that served as independent living facilities for about 36 seniors.
Attorney Ed Manzke, who represented several of the residents who had contracts to live in their homes, said they were informed in November that their residences would be torn down to make way for the health center. He said residents were told they had six months to either move into apartments at Oak Trace or leave the community altogether.
On Tuesday, Manzke said settlements had been reached with all his clients.
"My clients have entered into confidential settlement agreements with Oak Trace," Manzke said. "Some are staying and some have left Oak Trace entirely."
Joe Chambers, vice president of sales and marketing for Iowa-based parent company LifeSpace Communities Inc. confirmed a settlement.
"Oak Trace and LifeSpace Communities were able to reach an agreement with all residents impacted by the first phase of the redevelopment," Chambers said. "Many of the residents chose to stay at Oak Trace where they continue to benefit from the promise of care for life and the enhanced services and amenities the redevelopment will bring."
Oak Trace, located at the intersection of Fairview Avenue and 66th Street, includes 247 apartments and a variety of services and amenities. As part of its Life Care agreement, the community also provides health care services and accommodations for its residents.
Construction on the first phase of the redevelopment project will begin Wednesday afternoon and is expected to be complete in 2019. The second phase, costing about $81 million, will then begin with the addition of about 150 apartments.
There will be a variety of options for floor plans and new amenities, including multiple restaurants, a fitness center and spa, and an expansion of the library and auditorium for continued learning and entertainment functions.
"As a Life Care community that has provided independent living and a continuum of care for more than 30 years, it's a natural step for us to expand and transform our campus to continue meeting the needs of today's seniors," Goldstein said.