2018 | Development

Senior Living Center Planned Near Gaithersburg’s Washingtonian Center

Chicago group seeking approval for 300-unit facility

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A rendering of the planned senior living center in Gaithersburg.

Via SHA Capital Partners

A Chicago developer has submitted plans to build a 300-unit senior living center in Gaithersburg.

The project, off Interstate 270 near the Washingtonian Center, will offer independent living, assisted living, and memory-care units in a single building, said Doug Cooper of SHA Capital Partners, the developer.

Plans for the 8.5-acre site include a 200-car garage and a 3.25-acre conservation area buffer from neighboring properties.

A market analysis convinced SHA of the demand in the area for senior-living housing and care, Cooper said.

“We thought there was demand and would continue to have strong demand for senior housing,” Cooper said. “As the baby boom generation ages, so over the next 10 to 15 to 20 years, projects like this are going to get harder and harder to develop.”

Gaithersburg planners and the City Council will review the plans for the project, at 10100 Washingtonian Blvd., across the street from a Lifetime Fitness, in walking distance of the Rio Washingtonian Center and near the Crown Farm housing development.

“These are all amenities that seniors want,” Cooper said. “We think seniors, particularly the baby boom generation, are going to want to live in place just like millennials want to live, in very active areas.”

The center will feature more than 30,000 square feet of dining space, along with activity areas, game rooms, and bistros or coffee bars. There will also be an indoor pool.

The project is a joint venture with Kisco Senior Living, which will be operating the facility, Cooper said.

Developers recently finished schematic drawings and have not determind a cost estimate for the project.

The parcel was annexed into the city and zoned as Mixed Use Development, originally intended to be used for office space, Gaithersburg Economic Development Director Tom Lonergan said.

Developers had to request support of mayor and council to amend the annexation agreement to permit residential developments. The city considered the location to be a quality office development space for the same reasons cited by Cooper, the highway access and availability of amenities, Lonergan said.

“There was a robust discussion both among staff and among the elected officials about the use for the site,” Lonergan said. “Neither were objectionable, both were positives for the city.”

The city supported the amendment to the annexation agreement.

“The data is telling us that the need for quality senior living in and around Gaithersburg will be desperately needed in the coming years,” Lonergan said. “This is an ideal location for this facility approximate to transportation to Rio and we look forward to them coming on board.”

Cooper said construction is expected to take about two years, and the best-case scenario would be a groundbreaking in the fall. That would mean opening in the fourth quarter of 2021, though first quarter 2022 would be more realistic, Cooper said.