Keego HarborSeptember 18, 2013
Keego council to hear plans on independent living facility
By Robin Ruehlen
C & G Staff Writer
KEEGO HARBOR — Only one step remains in securing plans for a $40 million assisted and independent living facility and rehabilitation center at Cass Lake Road and Stapleton Drive.
Following unanimous approval by the Keego Harbor Planning Commission Sept. 5, site plans for Magnolia by the Lakes will go before the City Council for approval at its Sept. 19 meeting.
Project owner Dr. Farideh Bagne told the Planning Commission that after years of owning and developing the largest privately owned conglomerate of cancer centers in the United States, she came to develop a sense of appreciation for the needs of senior citizens and the struggles they faced.
“Whenever I went to Florida, I would meet a large number of Michiganders who would leave their loved ones and brave the summer heat and humidity because of three months we have here — December, January and February. Three months that all senior citizens don’t want to walk out and face,” said Bagne, who also owns Mercury Medical Systems at 1699 Cass Lake Road.
“I decided, why not bring the best of Florida — the lack of those three months of misery — here for our seniors and combine it with the beauty of Michigan.”
Mayor Sid Rubin said that in addition to the Mercury Medical Systems building being converted to medical offices and a sales office for the project, phase one of the two-part project would result in a one-story, 12,000-square-foot state-of-the-art short-term rehabilitation center with complete access to a village square and a pharmacy.
Phase two would consist of a European resort-style five-story independent living campus with 136 one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as luxury suites overlooking Cass and Sylvan lakes. At completion, an enclosed, heated bridge over Cass Lake Road would connect all three buildings.
“This project has been in the works for over a year, and it has tremendous community support,” Rubin said.
“The City Council attended the Planning Commission meeting, and we were able to have many of our questions answered, and received much community feedback. We’re expecting this to be passed at the Sept. 19 meeting, barring any unexpected delays. ”
Rubin said he expects the project will produce “an immediate upshot to the growth and redevelopment of Keego Harbor.”
“It is sure to spread outward. It definitely shows that Keego is open for business, and small communities can make things happen without raising taxes,” he said.
“It is an unprecedented opportunity to advance several long-term financial programs for our city and offer more benefits for residents and taxpayers.”
Other features of Magnolia by the Lakes include:
• onsite medical, dentistry and salon services, and a library, a chapel and a theater;
• private security;
• minibus service to destinations within 20 miles;
• rooftop views overlooking the lakes; and
• a 24-hour commissary and kitchen service.
If approved by the council, Rubin said, construction could begin in late September. Stuckey- Vitale Architects, of Royal Oak, would oversee construction of the project.
The Keego Harbor City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at City Hall.