Groups aim to build memory care facility

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published January 8, 2019

 Ascension Crittenton Hospital, Cornerstone Medical Group and Torch Development are proposing to demolish the existing 36,000-square-foot, 2.5-story office building at 1000 W. University Drive in Rochester and construct a new three-story facility.

Ascension Crittenton Hospital, Cornerstone Medical Group and Torch Development are proposing to demolish the existing 36,000-square-foot, 2.5-story office building at 1000 W. University Drive in Rochester and construct a new three-story facility.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Advertisement

ROCHESTER — Ascension Crittenton Hospital, Cornerstone Medical Group and Torch Development are hoping to build a medical office building with a residential memory care unit at 1000 W. University Drive in Rochester.

They are proposing to demolish the existing 36,000-square-foot, 2.5-story office building and construct a new hybrid three-story facility with medical offices on the first floor and a 68-bed memory care facility on the second and third floors.

Mark Yagerlener, the director of Ascension Real Estate, said Ascension has been very actively involved in investing and repositioning Ascension Crittenton Hospital into the community to continue to make it a vibrant asset since the hospital joined Ascension in 2015.

“One of the concerns we’ve had is the aged date of the 1000 University (building), a building that’s close to 50 years old. From a real estate perspective, its functionally obsolete, so we’re looking at strategies to create and replace that building with the type of use that will complement the quality of medical care that’s currently existing across the street at our hospital,” he said.

Eric Maring, an architect for Hooker DeJong Architects & Engineering, said the team hopes to demolish the existing building and replace it with an approximately 121,600-square-foot, three-story building with underground parking, as well as parking on a surface lot.

“It is different from some of the other products that you’ve seen in the area recently,” Maring said. “We’re providing residents of Rochester a place where they can age in place in their community. Providing, hopefully, a better curb appeal, architectural appeal, and enhancing the quality of life.”

Dr. James Cho, of Cornerstone Medical Group, said the specialty residential clinic will focus on patients in need of memory care, who are not often accepted at assisted living facilities and don’t have many other options for housing, he said.

“A family member is usually stuck with the burden, so we are trying to figure out what we can do to house these patients,” Cho said. “These are people that — we’re all going to be there one day — hopefully — we don’t, but it’s likely we will,” said Cho.

“We all have loved ones, we all might be there one day ourselves, and we’re trying to provide a home that’s safe for everybody, that gives them their dignity still, and at the same time, we have doctors on-site to help with these patients,” Yagerlener said.

City Manager Blaine Wing said the site is currently zoned 01-limited office, and the proposed residential mental health facility option is not a permitted use in that district.

“In order to allow for this specific use, the Planning Commission would have to consider amending the zoning ordinance or creating a special project area,” he said.

The Rochester City Council unanimously agreed to refer the concept plan to the Planning Commission for review, which typically takes around six months.

“This is no way an endorsement of the council,” Rochester Mayor Rob Ray said. “It’s just a direction to see if the Planning Commission can vet out a solution fitting of the city.”

Although there has been an influx of senior centers in the area, Mayor Pro Tem Kim Russell said she feels this project is different.

“We do have a fatigue of senior centers, but I don’t think we have addressed this part of the market,” she said.

Councilman Dean Bevacqua agreed.

“I do think it’s a need that needs to be met in our community,” he said. 

Advertisement