Assisted living, Frontier plans revised

Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2006


  Artist rendering of the Senior Connection project and Frontier Community Services administration building and a day-care.

Artist rendering of the Senior Connection project and Frontier Community Services administration building and a day-care.

When the tab passed the $3 million mark just to get to the back of the lot, plans for a new senior assisted living facility in Kenai and an office building for Frontier Community Services were sent back to the drawing board, according to a consultant heading up the projects.

James McConnell, president of the Paladin Group, told the Kenai City Council his development firm worked on a collaborative basis with Frontier and incorporated the Senior Connection assisted living project onto the front portion of 25 acres the city of Kenai donated for the projects.

Initially the groups sought a 77-acre donation of city-owned land near the Mommsen Subdivision for the projects.

The first phase of the Senior Connection project calls for building one wing of a chevron-shaped building that would house 15 assisted-living apartments, common areas and an entrance structure that includes an institutional kitchen and dining room.

Frontier Community Services would like to build a new 12,220 square-foot administration building and a day-care and preschool building during the first phase of its proposed development.

The day-care and preschool building would allow Frontier to provide services for children experiencing disabilities.

The two Frontier buildings were to occupy the front portion of the 77-acre parcel with the senior assisted-living facility toward the back.

In May, the council rescinded its 77-acre donation and approved donating 25 acres for the combined projects. The land is bounded by California Avenue, Nightingale Street, Redoubt Avenue and Fourth Avenue. Some of the streets are not yet built.

“When we got into the cost of roads, water and sewer and running the electrical, it came to $3 million to get to the back portion of the property,” McConnell said.

He said a new conceptual design for both facilities is in place and right now, “the big hurdle is (engineering) design money.”

Money for the next step can come through the Denali Commission, he said, but the commission will not make it available until late spring or summer.

The original Senior Connection plan called for building the assisted living facility as well as independent senior housing. McConnell said the long-range plan still calls for building independent senior housing on the back portion of the parcel.

In other business, the council:

· Approved adding a $25 fine for failing to obtain a city dog license;

· Set a public hearing on the sale of 14.78 acres to Lowe’s for its planned home improvement center;

· Extended the Wal-Mart lease of city land behind the Kenai Chrysler Center for an additional six months. The one-year lease is set to expire Oct. 28. A contract to sell the land outright to Wal-Mart is being negotiated concurrently;

· Introduced an ordinance establishing minimum standards for residential mobile homes in mobile home parks; and

· Terminated a lease and management agreement with AAI Services, operators of the Pacific Rim Institute of Safety and Management (PRISM) fire training center. A contract has been reached with the state fire marshal to take over management of the facility on Marathon Road.

Because the Nov. 15 Kenai City Council meeting comes during the week some council members will be attending an Alaska Municipal League conference, the second meeting in November was rescheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 21.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at

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