Springfield, MO

Log in Subscribe

Contract pending on new senior development

After a delay, rural community Copper Rock could break ground next month

Posted online

One-thousand, three-hundred and twenty-seven – it’s the number of senior-living beds the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services estimates the Springfield metropolitan statistical area will need constructed by 2020.

As baby boomers retire, the state in 2014 found southwest Missouri has a shortage of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. While demand increases, bid delays have pushed back construction of Willow Health Care Inc.’s Copper Rock senior health care community in Rogersville – although it hopes to break ground next month.  

Formerly slated to open in late 2018, that date is now pushed back to spring 2019, said Shirley Alter, vice president of operations for Willow Springs-based Willow Health Care.

“It’s still going a little slow. But we are in the process of awarding the bid, which is not official yet, until we sign the paperwork. Hopefully, by the middle of January, you will see dirt moving,” she said, noting seven bids were considered.

The winning bid and loan amount will be disclosed around Jan. 5, Alter said.

Budgeted at $23 million, the 68-acre development at 712 Copper Rock Drive, on the south side of off VV Highway, is planned in three phases: a 90-bed skilled facility, 60-bed assisted-living center and a 32-unit independent-housing apartment facility.

“So, over the next five years, that would be the plan, to have a total campus,” Alter said.

The skilled-care portion is expected to take 14 months, she said, and should open in early 2019. A period of down time also is planned between each phase.

A similar development format was employed by O’Reilly Development Co. LLC during the construction of The Castlewood Senior Living in Nixa. The $18-million, 113,000-square-foot project concluded in July 2017 with the opening of an independent-living building, adding to the assisted-living and memory care units that opened earlier in the year.

Constructed in three phases by O’Reilly Build LLC, The Castlewood’s 91 living units and 16 memory care beds put a dent in the state’s 1,327-bed goal over the next couple of years.

The new Rogersville community will expand Willow Health Care’s portfolio of not-for-profit rural developments.

“We have three skilled homes in Howell County and one in Ozark. So this will be our fifth skilled facility,” Alter said.

Started in 1979, the company funds its projects through low-interest loans from U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, which was formerly known as Farmers Home Administration.

“You have to build in a rural area to qualify,” she said.

Funding through the USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan Program is eligible to community-based nonprofit corporations and public bodies developing an “essential service” in towns with less than 20,000 residents, according to federal specifications. Officials estimate the USDA in fiscal 2017 provided over $1 billion for 97 health care projects, including assisted living facilities as well as hospitals and medical and dental clinics. As one of 41 states with funded projects, Missouri developments received over $1 million through the program.

Also developing around the Queen City, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Oct. 19, 2017, for the opening of north-side senior-living development McClernon Villas. HP Construction LLC, a division of Housing Plus LLC, took 13 months to build the $5.3 million project, a five-building, 36-unit community for individuals age 55 and older. Designed by Sedalia-based Wallace Architects LLC, the 31,000-square-foot center on 5.4 acres also has a community center and six units for veterans referred by The Kitchen Inc.

Construction is complete at Birch Pointe Health & Rehabilitation, across from Kickapoo High School at 3705 South Jefferson Ave. Administrators are awaiting licensing approval from the state following an inspection.

“It’s an unannounced visit. They don’t let you know when they’re coming,” Birch Pointe Administrator Gene Vestal said. “Within the next week or two weeks, they should be here.”

Another south-side retirement community is Canyon Springs by Springfield Holdings LLC. While developers had indicated a summer 2018 completion, there are no building permits yet on file with the city for the planned development at 3810 S. Weller Ave.

Developers Lloyd Scale and Steve Trotter planned a more resort-style community with wellness aspects on roughly 6 acres behind the Ashley HomeStore on Independence Street, according to Springfield Business Journal reporting. The developers could not be reached by press time.

Also, Focused Senior Communities is approved by the state to develop a $15-million, 80-bed skilled nursing facility in Ozark, according to SBJ archives. There are currently no building permits for the facility filed with the city of Ozark.


No comments on this story |
Please log in to add your comment
Editors' Pick

Open for Business: Ozarks Elder Law LLC

Ozarks Elder Law LLC closed on its acquisition of RTR Attorneys in Marshfield; Nashville-style fried chicken and catfish restaurant Hot Cluckers got its start; and the first Geico insurance office in the Queen City opened.

Most Read