The Lewes Planning Commission reviewed and recommended approval of a 220,000-square-foot senior-living facility along Kings Highway. OA Vantage Point LLC is seeking to build a 175-unit, three-story facility near Cape Henlopen High School.
Last year, city council approved the subdivision of the open land known as the Beebe property that stretches from Kings Highway to Savannah Road, just west of the former railroad tracks. Officials also approved rezoning of the 8.55-acre Kings Highway side of the property to community facilities healthcare to make way for the senior-living facility.
Representatives from the developer presented the plan at the commission’s Feb. 7 meeting. The plan calls for 80 independent living units, 63 assisted-living units and 32 memory care units. There will be two entrances to the building, one for the independent living residents and another for assisted-living and memory care residents, said Greg Stevens, president of Vantage Point Retirement Living, the company that will be running the facility.
“This facility has all three levels of care,” said Preston Schell, president of Ocean Atlantic Companies, which is working with Vantage Point to develop the property. “Memory care residents have additional needs and requirements with respect to safety. This building is set up specifically to accommodate the varying degrees of mobility and need for the three respective categories of senior living.”
The plan calls for 177 parking spaces, including 15 handicap spaces. Required parking is one space for each four patient beds and one space per employee on the largest shift.
“We’re expecting pretty much all the independent living residents to drive,” Stevens said. “There will be numbered parking spaces for each one of those.”
Employee parking will be around the back of the building, along the Henlopen Gardens side of the property. Visitor parking will be available near the entrances.
Zach Crouch of engineering firm Davis, Bowen & Friedel said they’ve been working with the Department of Transportation and the Lewes Historic Scenic Byway Committee regarding improvements to Kings Highway.
The plan includes a multi-use path along Kings Highway and other roadway improvements. With significant construction of both residential and commercial units planned for the Mitchell Farm property across Kings Highway, Schell said, there is a plan to align the entrances for each project. The result may be a new signal on Kings Highway, he said.
The Savannah Road side of the property is still in limbo. The parcel was rezoned to R-5, mixed residential, last year, and Schell plans to develop it as affordable workforce housing.
There will be two roadway connections from the senior-living facility side to the workforce housing side of the property.