More senior housing coming to Blaine – Finance & Commerce – Finance and Commerce

With nearly 500 new senior housing units recently completed or in the pipeline, Blaine has been a popular destination in recent months for age-restricted homes.

One of the latest proposals is from Minnetonka-based Roers Cos., which envisions a mix of independent living, assisted living and memory care units on part of a 40-acre site at the intersection of Jefferson Street Northeast and 125th Avenue Northeast.

The project recently cleared the city entitlement process.

“They have all their [City Council] approvals and now it’s just a matter of them submitting construction plans to get their permits,” Erik Thorvig, Blaine’s community development director, said in an interview Monday.

The Roers project joins a crowded field in Blaine.

Also in the Blaine pipeline is United Properties’ Applewood Pointe, a 100-unit senior cooperative at 11967 and 11985 Radisson Road. That project is expected to go before the City Council in August.

The Roers and United Properties developments join fresh senior housing stock from Plymouth-based Dominium. In May 2020, Dominium opened its 192-unit Legends of Blaine affordable development at 10826 Austin St NE.

All told, that’s 479 new or proposed units.

The flurry of activity has prompted questions about the need for more. In a city staff report, one resident said there “appears to be seven similar facilities” near the Roers development site.

But the City Council doesn’t appear to be concerned about overbuilding. At its July 7 meeting, the council had good things to say about Havenwood before it approved a conditional use permit, which clears the way for construction.

The project, which includes plans for an 85,000-square-foot Hy-Vee grocery store, is “a really great concept that fits really well with the neighborhood,” said Council Member Chris Massoglia.

Jeff Koch, Roers’ principal partner overseeing the Havenwood project, said at the July 7 council meeting that market studies show a need for more age-restricted homes in the city.

“Basically, nationwide, the baby boomers continue to reach that retirement age,” Koch said. “What we’re seeing specifically in the city of Blaine is that the age demographic of 65-plus is going to grow by 75% over the next five to 10 years, and so that senior living need is there and is going to continue to be there.”

Eric Thorvig, Blaine’s community development director, noted that the new and proposed senior housing is not one-size-fits-all.

Rather, the three projects offer a variety of development styles and products – including affordable and market rate dwellings – so they fit “different niches of the market,” Thorvig said in an interview.

“We let the developers do their homework,” Thorvig added. “And if they’re going to make that type of investment, we trust that they do their market studies and realize that a market is going to be there.

“And it’s no secret that that senior housing market — not just special to Blaine – exists all across the region, if not the country.”

Havenwood of Blaine calls for 26 memory care, 45 assisted living units, and 116 independent living units. The development includes three buildings ranging in size from one to four stories, and 203 parking spaces, according to city documents.

Amenities include a dining room and kitchen, fitness center, offices, lobby, library, art room, community room, golf simulator, outdoor patios, gardening areas, pickleball courts, and walking patches.

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