South Charlotte

New senior community coming to Ballantyne

Prep work is set to begin at the site of a new senior living community in Ballantyne within the next month, says a spokesman for developer Liberty Healthcare.

The new senior living community will be called Brightmore of South Charlotte and will be on 17.5 acres of land along Providence Road West, between Community House and Old Ardrey Kell roads.

The Charlotte City Council approved the site plan last September with the support of city planners and the city rezoning staff.

Brightmore will offer 138 independent living units, 30 assisted-living units and 120 skilled nursing beds. Residents can move through the stages of care or enter at any time.

Liberty's Brightmore was one of several proposed senior living communities brought before the city council in the last year.

In May, the council voted in favor of a Singh Development senior community called Waltonwood at Providence across from Providence Country Club.

Michigan-based Singh also submitted a zoning petition to bring an assisted-living and skilled-nursing facility, which would be called Waltonwood at Cotswold, to the eastern side of Randolph Road.

Plans call for Liberty Senior Living, a division of Liberty Healthcare, to start prepping the land in a few weeks, and have a ground-breaking on Brightmore in mid-May. Construction should start in June, said Jerry Cooper, director of marketing and development for Liberty Senior Living.

First, Liberty will build the 69,000-square-foot skilled-nursing and rehab facility, called the Pavilion Health Center at Brightmore, and residents can move in by late 2013.

The independent-living facility, about 230,000 square feet, will open for residents in early 2014.

The estimated cost for the community is $35 million to $40 million.

The independent living area is three stories in some areas and four stories in others, while the skilled-nursing facility will be one story.

Liberty took care to design the buildings to fit in with the architectural feel of the greater Ballantyne area, so Brightmore will be a mixture of brick and stonework.

Rather than the traditional equity model, where seniors buy a stake in the community and pay upfront for their homes, Brightmore will be a rental model, where residents sign annual leases and pay by the month.

The decision to offer rentals was influenced, in part, by the recent economic crisis and deflated housing market.

"The idea of home ownership has lost its luster," said Cooper. "(Rentals)...give more flexibility in these times."

Cooper said Brightmore at South Charlotte will bring about 220 full-time jobs to the area.

The community will also feature dining options, including a pub, bistro, general dining and formal dining. There will also be a market-type shop where residents can buy sandwiches and gourmet items.

There are two Brightmore senior living communities in Wilmington, one in operation and one under construction, which also use the rental model.

Cooper said Liberty anticipates about 50 percent of Brightmore at South Charlotte residents will be from other parts of the country and will have relocated to Charlotte to be closer to their children.