HOLLAND, MI — A $72.5 million senior community with 128 residences is being planned in Holland.

Called “The Farmstead,” the development will be located at 875 E. 24th St. adjacent to the expansive Van Raalte Farm Park and will include 80 communal apartments, 24 residence halls and 24 assisted living suites.

Although the units won’t be ready for residents to move in until January 2024, more than 70% of them have already been reserved, said Deedre Vriesman, president and CEO of the housing association for people. Elder Resthaven, the developer of the project.

This highlights a need for more senior housing in the Holland region, especially as many members of the baby boomer generation begin to enter the later ages of life, Vriesman said. The Farm is open to residents aged 60 and over.

“There is already a need, and this will help meet that need,” Vriesman said.

All rooms in the farmhouse will be handicapped accessible and will have no steps or raised parts in the floor. Vriesman said these design features will help accommodate people if they need a walker or wheelchair, but are still able to live independently.

Planned facilities at the farm include parking, restaurants, a fitness center, clubhouse, activity rooms, multi-purpose rooms and other common living areas. The city allowed Resthaven to construct two community entrances to the adjacent Van Raalte Farm park.

“(The project) is important because older people deserve to have homes that are comfortable for them and that are built to help them be as independent for as long as possible,” Vriesman said. “We haven’t done enough work to create the space for older people to live with long-term dignity and then have the silent supports around them to help them stay active and engaged. A lot of times in the past we’ve built communities of senior citizens that have everything in place and then kind of pushed them out of the way.

“But seniors are an important part of our community, so we need to create a space for them in our community where they still enjoy the benefits of the larger community in which they have chosen to live.

People can find out more about the development as well as how to book a residence at resthaven.org/farmstead/.

Only 24 of the rooms will be classed as assisted living and will specialize in memory care, with wayfinding functions, safe exits and trained staff to help people with dementia.

Construction on the project is expected to begin in the summer of 2022. When complete, Vriesman said around 30 new jobs will be created, including catering, housekeeping, activities staff and caregivers, to help staff of the farm.

The 128 residences will be located on approximately 22 acres of the 39-acre site. Future plans could include expansion on the site, Vriesman said, but at the earliest it would take 10 years and market research would be needed to determine demand and desired housing style and amenities.

Apartments are available in one- and two-bedroom styles, ranging from 841 square feet to 1,572 square feet. Residences are available in single and duplex models and range in size from 1,519 square feet to 1,544 square feet.

Assisted Living Suites are a private room model of approximately 400 square feet.

Rooms are pet-friendly, have their own HVAC systems, and are designed not to hear adjacent neighbors, Vriesman said.

Residences range in monthly rent from $1,925 per month to $3,400, Vriesman said. These fees cover cable, Wi-Fi, housekeeping, electricity and more.

Farm residents are required to make a one-time life care purchase giving priority access to five-star skilled nursing care, Vriesman said.

The one-time cost depends on both the size of the room and the chosen level of the Lifetime Care Plan. It ranges from $188,000 at the lowest level with the smallest units to $307,000 at the highest level with the largest units.

The cost is amortized by 1.5% each month, which means that if a person moves before about five and a half years, they will receive a portion in return, with more money being returned sooner.

Resthaven plans to fund the project by issuing $80 million in bonds using the Ottawa County Economic Development Corporation as an intermediary to gain tax-exempt status on the bonds.

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