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Planning Board endorses nursing home, senior apartments

A Hickory-based senior housing company plans to build a 58-bed assisted living facility plus 83 independent living apartments on 8½ acres on South Allen Road if the Hendersonville City Council approves.

The applicant, Agemark Acquisition LLC, won the unanimous blessing of the Planning Board on Monday for a rezoning application to allow the 32,000-square-foot nursing home and 85,000-square-foot apartment building near Four Seasons hospice’s Elizabeth House and Hendersonville Health and Rehabilitation.
Currently in unincorporated Henderson County, the land is zoned office-institutional and would change to Planned Resident Development if the council approves. Plans call for a three-story apartment building with a fitness room and small bistro. The campus would be called the Landings at Flat Rock.
Construction manager Corey Mabus of Sanford-based Carolina Commercial Contractors said the owner-operator of the facility had received a certificate of need from state regulators authorizing 58 nursing home beds.
“We’re pretty hungry to get after it,” he said. “We’d like to start as soon as possible with construction.”
The owner, Affinity Living Group, changed its name to ALG Senior on July 1. ALG owns 140 senior communities in the South and has another 30 under development.
“We take care of the frail and elderly,” ALG project manager Kench Waldrep told the Planning Board via Zoom. “We help residents with all their activities of daily living. We know that families want their loved ones or their parents to live within 5-10 miles of where they live. We hire local people to take care of local people and we think there is a very big demand.”
During a neighborhood compatibility meeting on Oct. 29, Four Seasons President Millicent Burke-Sinclair asked about noise and vibration from construction. Mabus responded that he did not expect the contractor to encounter rock and thus would not need to blast. If the builder could break ground in the second quarter, the project could be done about a year later, he said.
A neighboring property owner, Kim Arrowood, asked about a buffer between her home and the development. Because a stream divides the parcels a 50-foot buffer is required, Mabus responded. A retention pond will be built to hold stormwater and prevent flooding, he added.
Arrowood said the 55 mph speed limit on South Allen Road is too fast and expressed concern about increasing traffic, most of that from elderly drivers. Mabus said two weeks ago that the developer is still working on traffic issues.
The City Council would have to approve a rezoning request and an annexation request before the project could start.