For decades, local officials have talked about building a senior care facility in Eagle County and this week that talk took a significant, albeit early, step toward realization.
On Tuesday the Eagle County Commissioners signed a purchase agreement for a 5-acre site in Eagle Ranch, located at the intersection of Capitol Street and Sylvan Lake Road just north of Brush Creek Elementary School. The site is the proposed location for the Castle Peak Senior Care Community, a 64-unit assisted living and skilled nursing facility.
During Tuesday night's Eagle Town Board meeting, Eagle County Housing Director Jill Klosterman shared that news.
"We are excited about the Castle Peak Senior Care Facility, that's the name developed through our focus group efforts," she said.
Klosterman said the site is a great location for the care facility, which would include 22 skilled nursing, 20 assisted living and 12 memory care beds in its first phase. She noted that the residents and visitors will have walkable access to all Eagle Ranch amenities, including the movie theater, restaurants, shopping and pedestrian trails."
She said the county could potentially close on the property by the end of the year, but the sales contract includes an extension provision to Aug. 15. A team including local consultant Tambi Katieb and architect Pam Hopkins have been brought on to help design the project, which will go through the town of Eagle's review process.
"The big question of the day is how are we going to fund it," said Klosterman. "We suspect it will cost around $20 million."
The county is on board to help with those costs with savings it nets from a refinancing deal for the Lake Creek Apartments. "But the county does not plan to own or operate this facility," Klosterman said.
The county has partnered with Augustana Care Corporation of Minnesota - a non-profit experienced in the development, design and operation of senior living facilities - on the Castle Peak Senior Care Facility. As the planning proceeds, the county is looking for financial partners and anticipates a robust private fund-raising campaign.
According to the county, the project will create more than 100 jobs during construction and approximately 65 permanent jobs once phase one of the facility is operating.
"I am very glad to see this project happen and I am very excited to see it happen in Eagle," said town board member Scott Turnipseed.
Castle Peak Senior Care Community will be the only assisted living and skilled nursing facility in Eagle County and will serve residents at all income levels. Klosterman said the need for the facility has been well documented. According to the Colorado State Demographer, Eagle County had the third highest growth in percentage of residents aged 65-plus in the state from 2000-2010, at 135 percent. The age group is projected to grow another 165 percent from 2010-2020.
According to Klosterman, the potential exists for groundbreaking to occur by the fall of 2013.