Blaine Planning Commission reviews senior facility request

Plans for a 59-unit senior living facility near District 16’s Northpoint Elementary School were reviewed during an Aug. 15 Blaine Planning Commission meeting.

The new facility would be located on the southwest corner of 125th Avenue N.E. (County Road 14) and Cloud Drive N.E, said Associate Planner Shawn Kaye.

Previously, the site had approved zoning to accommodate an office and a 32-unit senior assisted care facility that was being proposed by another developer, Suite Living, Kaye said.

That project was approved by council in 2010 but didn’t move forward. “That’s why we are seeing a request from a different applicant,” Kaye said.

Edgewood Vista Senior Living wants to build 34 assisted living units (36 occupants) and 25 memory care units (29 occupants) on the proposed site, she said.

The building would consist of common areas that include dining and kitchen areas, a hair salon, activity rooms, theater, doctor exam room, library, fitness center and lounging areas.

The memory care residents would have a secured area in the building with separate amenities such as a congregate dining room, activity room, library and a secure patio area. The 59-unit building would be a single level and contain 49,225 square feet, Kaye said.

Project representatives from River Falls, Wis.-based Frisbee Architects and Edgewood Management Group, LLC provided details about the project.

Principal Matt Frisbee and Edgewood Regional Vice President Ross Huttunen were ready for questions after Chairman Joe Ouellette closed the Aug. 15 public hearing.

Huttunen said the senior living facility would bring 75 jobs to Blaine.

Edgewood has built senior living communities in Virginia, Duluth, Alexandria and Brainerd, he said.

“We’ve been in existance for 20 years and have about 45 properties around the country in seven different states,” Huttunen said, adding he lives in Ham Lake.

Commissioners unanimously recommended approval of the project’s conditional use permit, forwarding it to the Blaine City Council for a Sept. 6 review.

Tim Hennagir is at [email protected]