A new 370-unit life care community is expected to open near WakeMed Cary Hospital in early 2018.
The Cary Town Council unanimously approved rezoning about 23 acres across from the hospital on Kildaire Farm Road from residential to mixed use to allow for the Paraclete Professional Park.
The development, which was proposed by Mangum Development LLC, a North Carolina-based medical office builder, will include a 475,000-square-foot life care community with 240 independent living units and 130 assisted living units. There will be office space and could have additional residential units or a 150-room hotel.
Average costs of the facility would be similar to other life-care communities, such as the Glenaire Retirement Community and Waltonwood Senior Living, said Kevin Mangum, manager of Mangum Development.
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Mangum described the community as “metropolitan” and “high quality, but not ostentatious.”
“You could expect to see some very nice amenities usually reserved for places like New York or Miami,” he said.
It also will have a walkable environment and a campus-like atmosphere with central gardens and fountains.
Construction is expected to begin this summer. The medical offices are anticipated to be open in fall 2017.
“We think a large focus for baby boomers will be a desire for living near shops, restaurants and excellent medical care,” Mangum said. “Paraclete happens to be next to a hospital, near Waverly Place and is convenient for family to visit their loved ones.”
The project comes at a time when the town has been trying to respond to the need for senior housing as 5,000 Cary residents turn 65 years old every year.
In early 2015, the Aging Issues Task Force, a group of Cary officials and residents appointed by the town, completed a five-month-long study into how well Cary serves residents who are 65 and older. While the report said the town serves seniors well, it also shows the community may lack adequate housing for the growing population.
The rezoning case first went before the council for a public hearing in June 2015 but returned in January for another hearing after the applicant made changes to the preliminary development plan. The original plan showed an office park, whereas the new plan has more of a mix of uses.
“I kind of like the assisted living component myself,” councilman Don Frantz said during the January meeting. “I think our senior task force, one of the things they identified was we have a lack of those facilities in town, and I see this as a way to, you know, get some more of that. To me, having it close to the medical facilities and the hospital makes a lot of sense.”
Downtown library and deck
“This MOU will give the county and the town the comfort level to move forward on design,” said Paul Kuhn, the town’s facilities design and construction manager.
The design of the library and parking deck will take place this summer. Wake County plans to begin construction in the spring of 2017 and open the library during the fall of 2018.
The town and the county have a joint plan to replace the 11,000-square-foot library on South Academy Street with a large one on 3 acres at the corner of Walnut Street and Kildaire Farm Road.
Wake County will oversee the design, construction and operation of the library and the associated four-level, 350-space parking deck. The town must approve the design of both projects before they can move forward.
Clearscapes, a Raleigh design firm, is the lead architect consultant. The company designed the Cary Arts Center and the West Regional Library.
The county is providing most of the $7 million for the library while Cary is providing the land, but the town will be responsible for most of the costs associated with the parking deck.
Cary will pay an estimated $7.15 million for the parking deck plus an additional $1.2 million for a stormwater system that will serve the entire block, including the future Downtown Park. Wake County will contribute $1 million for parking.
The parking deck also will include integrated public art. The council already appropriated an additional $180,000 to pay an artist and for other associated fees.
The selection process for the artist is underway. Once selected, the artist will provide three to five options for public art that will be reviewed by the town’s public art advisory board and the council this summer.
The council also:
▪ Considered the rezoning of a 1.12-acre vacant portion of the Mt. Zion Church property at the 300 block of Lake Drive to allow a maximum of two detached, residential lots with a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet.
▪ Adopted the N.C. legislative agenda recommended by staff for 2016. This includes supporting legislation to protect Jordan Lake as a drinking water supply.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608, @KTrogdon