Highland senior-living project granted extension

Russell Group's Jennifer Smith and area for planned senior living project. (Russell Group, Getty)
Russell Group's Jennifer Smith and area for planned senior living project. (Russell Group, Getty)

A proposed senior-living complex in Highland, IN, is still on track despite delays.

The Highland Plan Commission granted an extension for The Russell Group to begin work on its planned development, the Post-Tribune reported. The Iowa-based developer now has until June to get approval for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development financing.

Commission President Doug Turich and member Hunter Balzco were the only no votes in the 5-2 decision to grant another extension for the project. Last June, The Russell Group was granted a six-month extension due to health issues as well as negotiations between the company and the property owner.

Project attorney Jennifer Smith said this summer that the firm’s financial advisor suggested they apply for HUD financing. Gathering the information needed for the application took until fall, leading to the need for the extension.

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The Highland Town Council already approved rezoning the Griffland-owned land on Kleinman Road from its previous use as single-family residential. It’s now zoned R-3 planned-use development, contingent on an agreement that the full 20 acres would never be used as any sort of housing other than the $39 million senior-living facility. In addition, no one under the age of 55 will be allowed to live at the senior center for more than 90 days unless that person is a resident’s caretaker.

The project calls for 70 independent-living apartments with full kitchens, in-unit laundry and parking; 50 to 60 assisted-living apartments with kitchenettes and laundry; and a memory-care unit with 18 to 20 apartments designed specifically for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia-related illnesses.

Residents will have multiple dining options including meals prepared by an on-site chef. There will also be game rooms, a general store, a library and a salon. An on-site wellness center will have exercise equipment and offer daily fitness classes.

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— Victoria Pruitt