As construction on the Heritage Elm Grove senior living community continues, Elm Grove officials have taken precautions to protect the interests of both the village and developer in the possible event of a change in ownership of the property.
At the recommendation of the Plan Commission, the Village Board on Tuesday approved amending the conditional-use permit for the facility, located at 800 Wall St., to specify how the permit may be transferred should developer MSP Real Estate either sell or foreclose on the property.
In addition to a new operator needing to meet all certification and licensing requirements of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Trustee Jack Nelson explained, any change in operator would still need to be approved by the village as outlined in the business plan on file for the development.
Village President Neil Palmer said the goal of the amendment is twofold — to ensure the success of the development, but also to protect the interests of the village by requiring that the property be sold to a qualified owner who would operate the facility as intended, and not under another use.
Trustee Thomas Michalski also noted that the current, planned operator is not facing any financial difficulty at this time.
"This is just to essentially cover us in the 'what if' situation," Michalski said.
The Village Board vote amends the conditional-use permit that was initially issued to the developer last September. Construction of the 98-unit senior care facility, which will contain a mix of residential-care apartment and community-based residential facility units, as well as memory-care units, began in late 2012 and is currently ongoing.
The estimated $7 million development includes a village tax-incremental financing contribution of about $1.6 million, to cover the extension of municipal water from Brookfield to the site, Palmer said. That amount also includes a developer incentive and contingency funding, as indicated through previous village approvals.
As the first assisted-living facility in Elm Grove, the development is a welcome addition to the village, Palmer said.
"They're a very well-respected developer, and they operate a number of these kind of facilities," Palmer said, including locations in New Berlin, West Allis and Madison.
The village stands to benefit from the provision of municipal water from Brookfield as well, Palmer said, which will also be extended to its Public Works facility and two other sites in the business district area, and would be available for possible expansion to other areas of the village in the future.
Heritage Elm Grove is expected to open in spring, Palmer said.
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