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Posted: 03/05/14

CARE CONCEPTS. Above, Justin Racz of Racz Building and Development presents concept plans of a strategic business park to the Planning Commission on Feb. 26. The development would cater to residents looking for a continuum of health care with independent living, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.

(Observer photo by Chris Gray)

Racz unveils revised idea
for skilled nursing plans

Observer Staff Writer
      A retirement community development in Bruce Township has been given new life.
       The site plan and Special Land Use (SLU) requests for a skilled nursing development will come before the Planning Commission on March 27.
       Justin Racz of Racz Building and Development said the original plan from 2012 was to develop a 106-bed skilled nursing, assisted living facility on 7.8 acres out of 97 acres at 33 Mile and McKay roads.
       However, he said when they lost 33 of the 68 skilled nursing beds they had purchased for the site, they had to go back to the drawing board.
       "It's an enormous process to go through the certificate of need with the State of Michigan, state health department, but we had to amend our original certificate of need," he said.
       Racz said they found a new company that is a regional provider with 78 locations in the Midwest, but couldn't reveal the name due to confidentiality agreements.
       Racz said the idea is that the business park would provide all types of living conditions for seniors under Medicaid and Medicare, whether it is independent or for rehabilitation.
       The revised plans now include 60 residential duplex units (30 buildings) that are 1,050-1,100 square feet each for independent living for seniors. A 120-bed independent living facility provides meals, laundry and other amenities.
       A 35-bed memory care facility would care for residents with Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease, while 35 beds would be for skilled nursing and 48 for assisted living.
       "The nice thing is they can stay in the same continuum of care," he said.
       Bruce Township Clerk Susan Brockmann said the site plan requires its own approval, while three SLU requests are required for the care facilities. The SLUs will require public hearings.
       If approved, Racz said the first of three phases for construction is expected to begin by August 2014. The first phase would build half of the duplexes and the 58,000-59,000 square-foot assisted living and skilled nursing building.
       The second phase would be the remainder of the duplexes, while the third would be the independent living facility. Cost estimates for the project are still under development.
       He estimated around 35,000-40,000 gallons a day would be used by the development for sewer and water. The first phase alone would be about 20,000 gallons a day.
       The township is seeking ways to handle its $2.5 million sewer debt, so the development could add new customers to decrease that number. The Board of Trustees granted approval last month to expand its water and sewer district for a 165-unit development in the same area as Racz's project.
       Racz said another 110 residential units are still available to develop in the future, which could be located on the northern end of the property.
       The project doesn't require rezoning since 17 acres was changed in the fall of 2012. The property was originally zoned light manufacturing (M-1) before changing to residential multiple family (RM-1). A previous contractual rezoning changed the remaining portion.

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