Senior Living Community proposed for Madison

Tia Lynn Ivey News

A new large-scale development is on the horizon for the City of Madison. A state-of-the-art senior living community that will offer an array of health and wellness services to its residents is currently being pitched to the City of Madison.  The Wellbridge Community project, which proposes about 250 housing units and an 80-bed memory-care facility to be built on 74 acres between Bethany Road and 441, aims to establish a senior community that can accommodate the various needs of seniors in good health and poor health.

“The proposed community will offer the residents the opportunity to maintain their independence as long as possible, while having the options for services as they want or need them,” wrote Kelly Mahoney, of Wellbridge Community, LLC., in the application to the city. According to Wellbridge, the mission of the project is to “develop and operate an affordable, coordinated, multiservice aging community that provides an inclusive lifestyle as desired, with support as needed.”

The Madison Planning and Zoning Commission  (PZC) will review the application filed by Kelly Mahoney of Wellbridge Community LLC, at this Thursday’s regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the City of Madison Meeting Hall located at 160 North Main Street Suite 400 in Madison. Mahoney, on behalf of Madison Associates, LLC., is requesting a map amendment to rezone the 74 acres from a Residential 2 and Planned Professional District to an entirely new Planned Professional District.

According to City of Madison Planner Mollie Bogle, the proposed project, if approved, will provide a host of services and care for seniors that are not currently available in Madison.

“We determined that the benefits to the community would be significant,” said Bogle. “While our Silver Lakes Senior Community offers low-to-moderate income housing for seniors, it does not offer any additional services. The Wellbridge Community would be a senior continuum of care retirement campus that would offer services to accommodate everything from independent living all the way to hospice care.”

The housing facilities would include 20 craftsman cottages (duplex-style) for a total of 40 units and 212 apartment-style units in 53 courtyard common buildings. The campus would provide onsite prepared meals in a cafeteria, an adult daycare center, a welcome center and an amenities building for recreational activities. The amenities building will include a pool, tennis courts, bocce ball, and pickle-ball. The campus will also feature nature trails, a stocked fishing pond, and gardens.  Residents will also be able to receive housekeeping and laundry services as well as certain medical services right on campus. According to the proposed project plans, the entryways leading to the campus would be built on Bethany Road.

City staff has some concerns about the effect the project would have on nearby traffic congestion, but believes those issues could be resolved with proper planning and design, according to Bogle.  City Staff determined the project to be feasible and beneficial to the community overall.

“It does appear the zoning proposal will result in a higher overall quality of community development than if developed utilizing the existing zoning classification,” noted city staff in their report for the Wellbridge project. “The clustering of buildings within this PPD allows for the reservation of greenspace and ensures higher investment per unit into the tax base. Finally, the ‘Seniors’ continuum of care retirement campus community’ would provide for the needs of all aging adults, from independent living to dementia care, an essential service not currently provided in the City.”

The City’s Corridor Design Commission reviewed the aesthetic aspects of the proposed project at May’s regular meeting and issued a letter of support for Wellbridge to the PZC. The PZC will review the plans this Thursday and send their recommendation to the Madison Mayor and City Council to make a final decision on the rezoning application for the Wellbridge Community project. If approved, Wellbridge expects to complete the project in one phase with a 12-month build-out timeline.

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