Enterprise staff report

Eagle approves permits for Castle Peak Senior Care

With a major development permit secured from the Eagle Town Board Tuesday night, developers of the Castle Peak Senior Care Community project say the project has passed a critical milestone in its effort to break ground in 2014.

“This brings us onto the procedural conveyor belt that will move this project forward to ultimate construction,” says Tambi Katieb of Land Planning Collaborative, which is facilitating the permitting process for Augustana Care. “We’ve been working closely with town staff, the Eagle Ranch design review board, Augustana Care and our partners at Eagle County to present a project everyone embraces that will move as quickly as possible through the approval process.”

Augustana Care, a Minnesota based non profit organization that owns and manages 23 senior care projects is partnering with Eagle County to build the 64-unit Castle Peak Senior Care Community. Augustana hopes to break ground in 2014 at its five-acre site located immediately north of Brush Creek Elementary School in the Eagle Ranch neighborhood. The 62,000 square foot project will include 22 skilled nursing beds, 20 assisted living apartments, 12 memory care beds and 10 transitional care units.

“Recent milestones belie the years of hard work that so many have put into making this project happen,” said Eagle County Commissioner Sara Fisher. “This effort has really taken the better part of 30 years, and to see it finally reaching the approval process is to watch a dream come true for our entire community.”

The projected cost for the project is $23.4 million. Eagle County purchased the care center site for $1.6 million and agreed to loan $4.4 million to make the project happen. That $4.4 million is a subordinate debt, meaning the county will be paid after other, primary lenders have their money. Augustana will contribute another $1 million in subordinate loan. That left a $16.4 million funding shortfall and the project received loan approval for $12 million from the USDA Rural Development’s Community Facility Loan Program. The USDA loan has a 3.5 percent interest rate with a 40-year term, a key component in the project’s financial structure.

In June 2013, Augustana Care embarked on a capital campaign to fill the $4.4 million funding gap. In less than a year, the capital campaign committee raised $2.2 million — or 50 percent of the goal — which gave the project partners the confidence to initiate the design process.

According to capital campaign chair Merv Lapin, the campaign theme, “Making Our Community Whole,” reflects the pressing need to help older generations and those in need of short-term rehabilitation to stay in the community when extended care is needed. “You’d be hard pressed to find someone in Eagle County who doesn’t have a family member or friend who had to leave the community because the care they needed wasn’t here.”

Final funding push

The campaign now has less than $725,000 to raise and is turning to all Eagle County residents to contribute to the effort. “The generosity of many individuals and foundations has gotten us this far,” says Lapin. “Now is the time for each of us to make a full and complete life in Eagle County possible for all of us.”

In its effort to reach a broader donor pool, Castle Peak has unveiled its engraved paver’s program. Those who donate between $500 and $9,999 will be recognized with engraved pavers, placed permanently in an exterior space at Castle Peak Senior Care Community. Donors who contribute $10,000 or more will be recognized on an interior donor wall. In addition to donations, volunteers are needed to help spur the final fund-raising effort.

While the project hopes to break ground this year, a firm construction schedule has not yet been developed.

“The additional regulatory requirements for a project of this nature make reliable scheduling predictions difficult,” says Katieb, “but we’re doing everything on our end to ensure construction starts as soon as possible. The community is ready for Castle Peak today.”

Augustana Care provides regular updates on both the project process and the capital campaign at www.CastlePeak.org. Information about donating or volunteering is also on the website or available directly from campaign coordinator Matt Scherr at mscherr@augustanacare.org.


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The VailDaily Updated May 19, 2014 10:12AM Published May 14, 2014 10:00PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.