Traverse City Record-Eagle

September 29, 2013

Senior living community at Commons scheduled

BY GLENN PUIT gpuit@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — A plan to develop an upscale senior living community at the Village of Grand Traverse Commons is now on the verge of becoming a reality.

Officials with national company Cordia Senior Living confirmed that their ownership entity, Grand Traverse Senior Living, will close early this week, either Monday or Tuesday, on its purchase of the last available segment of Building 50 at the Village of Grand Traverse Commons for the purposes of establishing the 109-apartment residences at Cordia at Grand Traverse Commons: A Senior Residential Club.

Purchase of the 111,000-square-foot property will clear the way for what the company describes as a cutting edge senior living property in what is arguably Traverse City’s most dynamic mixed use community.

“It’s a unique opportunity,” said Karen Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Cordia Management. “The infrastructure of the original building provides us with a backdrop and environment that we’d never be able to build from scratch today. I’m not aware of another retirement community in the country that will have this kind of amenity package and environment for seniors.

“The building is in surprisingly solid condition,” Anderson said. “There are abatements that need to be done; the first part will be abatements, then winter proofing, so when we get to winter conditions we’ll really be able to work well inside the building.”

The $30.7 million project is the recipient of both tax credits and dollars. Cordia obtained Brownfield development credits worth between $2.3 million through the Grand Traverse County Brownfield Development Authority.

The project also will benefit from approximately $7 million in historic tax credits from the state of Michigan. Historic tax credits were allocated in December 2011, just as the state began to sunset the credits.

“We were part of the last group of developments getting historic preservation tax credits," Anderson said. “It was the difference between being able to move forward and not going forward.”

The Cordia facility will employ 65 people.

"It will employ many more than that during construction -- more than 100," said Eustace Theodore, Cordia's director of new business development.

Cordia is carrying out the project in a partnership with Cypress Partners. The property is owned by a partnership of high net-worth individuals in Michigan. Cordia said the project will seek to bring in seniors mostly from northern Michigan and entry-level pricing at the private pay facility is expected to be about $3,450 per month.

"The connection to Grand Traverse Commons allows seniors to be part of multi-generational, multi-dimensional, mixed use community that's really unparalleled," Anderson said.