A plan to build a senior living development near the Uncompaghre River on Montrose’s south edge received the blessing of the Montrose City Council Tuesday evening.
The Montrose Lodge Senior Living at River Walk includes 44,077 square-feet of senior living and memory care beds, two retail buildings and 10 independent duplexes.
Once built, Rocky Mountain Senior Housing will turn the facility over to Vivage Senior Living, which operates a facility in Olathe and is planning another one in Grand Junction, according to Terry Classen, project manager.
“This will be a high-quality environmentally friendly project in proximity to the river,” Classen told the council prior to its vote.
A highlight of the project, on the west side of Hwy. 550 south of Otter Road, will be a meandering trail along the river, although the design isn’t “set in stone” as this juncture, the city’s assistant planner told the council. “It will meet standards, but we’re not sure yet how much it will meander.”
Classen, a Glenwood Springs resident, said the project would be a “wonderful development,” not only for City of Montrose and Montrose County but for a wide area of the central Western Slope.
He said the developers selected The Highland Group in Boulder to complete a demand and feasibility study.
“They gave us a favorable report for the site, which was specifically designed around the demand report,” Classen said. “We’re not coming in blindly … we know there is a demand for this project.”
In addition to residential plans, the project will also include roughly 10,000 acres of retail space, which Classen said would most likely not be built until later into the project.
He said the space is designed for companies that may wish to have close proximity to residents of the nearby homes. That could include medical offices, cataract surgeons, senior dentists and others.
In response to a question from Mayor Rex Swanson, Classen said his company had not begun marketing the retail space and didn’t have specific clients in mind.
In response to another question from city council member Dave Bowman, Classen said once up and running, the project would create between 30 and 40 full-time jobs.
One access point off Otter Road is planned for the development. Native grasses and trees will be used in landscaping wherever possible.
The three council members present at Tuesday’s meeting – Bowman and Judy Ann Fiels, as well as Mayor Swanson – all voted in favor of the project.
In other action, the council:
• Appointed Dan Mohr, owner of Milagro Wellness in the 200 block of East Main Street in Montrose, to the Downtown Development Authority Board.
• Gave final approval to vacating a strip of city property where Sharing Ministries plans to build its new facility.
• Voted on first reading to rezone a parcel of property at 1269 Spring Creek Road from B-2 Highway Commercial to B-3 General Commercial District to accommodate a roofing company that plans to build at the location.
• Approved dividing a 14.2-acre tract into two parcels as part of the San Juan Industrial Park Phase 1 north of North San Juan Avenue (Hwy. 50).
• Recognized 2016 graduates from Colorado Mesa University Montrose.