More senior housing OK’d

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2000

A new senior housing development is on its way to Austin.

Wednesday, December 06, 2000

A new senior housing development is on its way to Austin.

Email newsletter signup

In a 6-0 vote Monday, the City Council annexed 12.16 acres of chisel-plowed soybean field into the city limits. Annexation was necessary so that city sewer and water lines will be available to the development. An additional portion of the proposed housing development tract already is within the city limits.

The property is located southwest of the intersection of 16th Street SW and 22nd Avenue SW, near Southgate School, and is owned by Richard "Dick" Lickteig. Following planning and zoning proceedings, Lickteig will sell the property to private developer Clark Thares of Primrose, an Aberdeen, S.D., developer.

Thares chose the site because of the nice surroundings and the area of town it is in. Lickteig chose to sell the property because he knew that this development would be an asset to the town and the property.

The multifamily development will consist of 72 units on 6.4 acres, of which 32 units will be set aside for assisted living. The remaining 40 units will be available for senior independent living.

Assisted living provides full-time nursing care, open doors for easy access and special emergency alarms. Independent-living apartments include pull-cord alarms for residents.

Outlets farther off the floor, large numbers on thermostats, hallway railings and wheelchair accessibility are features of Primrose’s developments.

Primrose has built five other senior housing facilities in Aberdeen, Mitchell and Rapid City, S.D.; Bismarck, N.D.; and Mankato.

"We’ve learned from each project," Thares said. He says that each new development improves upon the earlier design.

The best indication of what the Austin complex will look like comes from the Mankato site.

Mankato’s Primrose includes a commons area complete with gas fireplace, library, TV area and puzzle table. Additional rooms in the commons area include a dining room, commercial kitchen, computer room complete with e-mail access and card-playing room.

The Mankato staff provides regular blood-pressure checks, exercise sessions and daily coffee hours to the residents.

The design of the Mankato facility is the best Primrose employee Tammy Davis has seen in her 11 years in senior housing services.

"Some places are real grand," Davis said. "Some might call this grand, but I think it has a real homey and cheerful feel."

The Austin development will include an additional feature the Mankato facility does not have – a chapel, Davis said.

Thares was unaware of a referendum on a proposed housing project near the J.C. Hormel Nature Center that was rejected by voters last month, but he explained that their project should please Austin residents with its landscaping and aesthetically pleasing construction.

The goal of Primrose is "to be good neighbors and have good neighbors," Thares said.

The development will take eight to 10 months to complete, and will begin in April or May. It should be completed in the spring of 2002.