MANATEE -- Water's Edge of Bradenton, a 109-bed independent and assisted living facility on a 37-acre retirement campus along 32nd Ave. W., is several months into a $15.9 million construction project that will add 80 beds, including 20 for memory care.
The work is one of three high-profile ALF construction projects in the U.S. 41 corridor south of Bradenton. All are expected to come online this year or in 2016.
Purchased last year by nonprofit senior housing company National Church Residences, Water's Edge of Bradenton is moving further into the "aging in place" market that has become popular over the past few years. Penny Smith, the new executive director of the property, said residents moving to three-owner Water's Edge campus want to know they can call the same place home for the rest of their lives.
"Aging in place is the way everyone is going," she said.
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Residents can rent cottages and apartments at Water's Edge and live independently. Those who move into the National Church Residences portion of the property can choose independent or assisted living options. Monthly fees for those units range from about $2,900 to $4,500. Occupancy is typically 100 percent with a waiting list.
The company has not yet established rates for its memory care units. The 77,589-square-foot construction project is likely to be the last for National at that site, as the company has no room left to build. Smith said the company has no plans to add any higher care levels at the property, such as a skilled nursing facility. The addition is scheduled to open to residents in July.
The average age of Water's Edge of Bradenton residents is "mid to late 80s," she said.
Water's Edge will be competing for a customer base that Smith and other nearby ALF developers describe as growing. Just to the south where 14th St. W. intersects with U.S. 41, Comfort Cove, a smaller ALF and memory care facility, is nearing completion. Built from modular
sections, the facility will feature 52 total beds, 28 of which will be dedicated to memory care. Brent Crego, the facility's developer, had planned to open for business by mid-2015.
To the south of Water's Edge and Comfort Cove, the 126-bed Discovery Village at Sarasota Bay is also under construction. Scheduled to open in late 2016, the $35 million facility locates its independent and assisted living and memory care units a stone's throw to the west of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport at 1414 69th Ave. W.
Tom Harrison, CEO of Bonita Springs Discovery Senior Living, said his company expects the property to fill quickly due to "tremendous demand" for the services it will offer. Units in the project will range between 375 and 700 square feet.
Residents will have access to an onsite movie theater, a wellness center and three dining rooms.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027 or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.