Clinic down, assisted living upPublished 7:04am Wednesday, October 31, 2012
ALBERT LEA — The former West Side Clinic in Albert Lea is going to be razed, and in its place will be an assisted-living facility for memory care patients.
Minnetonka-based Prairie Senior Cottages LLC purchased the 1.69-acre property at the corner of West Fountain Street and North Eighth Avenue four years ago from Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.
Prairie Senior Cottages managing partner Mike Demmer said the memory care facility will be called Prairie Senior Cottages of Albert Lea and will provide assisted living for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other mental degradation disorders.
Demmer said the facility will have 18 rooms and 20 beds. It will be one building with two halves, resembling a duplex, with nine rooms for each side and a fenced-in courtyard.
He said he likes the location, with Shoff Park and Higbie Gardens immediately to the north, Highway 13 to the west and the neighborhood supported by Fountain and Clark streets surrounding the rest. He also likes that St. John’s Lutheran Home and the George Lundstrom dental office are nearby.
“I’ve always liked Albert Lea,” Demmer said, who lives in Buffalo and has family in New Richland. “It’s a great place. It’s one of the best-kept secrets of Minnesota, a town around the lake.”
The company has a similar unit in Isanti and other units in Willmar, Hutchison and Alexandria.
Prairie Senior Cottages of Albert Lea, 405 N Eighth Ave., will employ 35 to 40 full- and part-time workers.
The company has an emphasis on “above-ordinary” staffing levels, Demmer said. People caring for people with dementia disorders “need the proper tools,” he added.
Considering the property purchase, demolition, construction and getting the staffing going, the price tag for the project is about $2.5 million, Demmer said. The silent partner in the company is Benedict Gorecki of Milaca.