Development

Southminster planning big expansion to Park Road facilities

As Kathleen Anderson holds the finish banner at left, Jacqueline Leinbach celebrates reaching the finish line during the Relay Race Around Southminster event at 9:30 am on Wednesday August 1, 2012, the opening athletic event of the Southminster Olympics. DIEDRA LAIRD - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
As Kathleen Anderson holds the finish banner at left, Jacqueline Leinbach celebrates reaching the finish line during the Relay Race Around Southminster event at 9:30 am on Wednesday August 1, 2012, the opening athletic event of the Southminster Olympics. DIEDRA LAIRD - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Southminster is planning a major expansion to its retirement community campus on Park Road, adding more than a hundred new residences and care beds over the coming years.

The facility, which opened in 1987, recently filed a request to rezone its 25-acre campus across from South Mecklenburg High School. Executive Director David Lacy said the need to renovate and expand Southminster’s medical facilities is behind the project.

“This is driven by our need to replace our current healthcare center,” said Lacy. As part of the overhaul, Southminster is also adding independent living facilities that will replace some of the center’s current cottages. “We’re moving a bunch of pieces.”

Southminster plans to add 120 independent living units, 30 healthcare beds and two hospice beds. That would bring its total accommodations to 379 independent living units, 115 healthcare beds and 12 hospice beds.

Much of the changes would be accomplished by making the current site more dense. For example, some of the existing duplex and triplex cottage units would be replaced with 30-unit, three-story villas.

“These are fairly common now on campuses like this,” said Lacy. Sharon Towers in SouthPark is adding similar units. “They appear to be very well-received by the marketplace.”

The total number of parking spaces at Southminster would be increased by 168, to 617 spaces, according to the rezoning request.

Charlotte City Council will hold a hearing and vote on the plan in the coming months. Lacy said construction on the new villas could begin soon after that, while construction on the new medical facilities is unlikely to begin before mid-2017.

Southminster’s expansion comes amidst a building boom around Charlotte of age-restricted retirement communities, with thousands of new residences for those 55 and older under construction.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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