FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A proposal to build 130 senior housing apartments on 17 acres in the 2000 block of West Till Road was submitted this month to the Fort Wayne Plan Commission.
The project called Best Life Now Senior Communities is proposed by Kelli Brandenberger, a local developer located in the 8700 block of Greyhawk Drive.
The project most likely will be part of the plan commission’s public hearing on Dec. 11.
The applicant is requesting a change from single-family residential to RP or planned residential.
Christopher Nusbaum, the applicant’s attorney, said the final number of units depends on the plan commission. As such, he didn’t have any rental prices for the units, but said they would be “market rate.” The current market rate for an independent living community can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 a month according to 2023 data.
The units will be built in groupings of four, six and eight, he also said.
Although there are no plans for a swimming pool, the developer hopes to provide green space for recreation and dog walking. The development is close to Smith Field which means that large detention ponds could be an attraction for waterfowl like Canadian geese that can be a problem, Nusbaum said.
The development plan “includes a maximum of 130 individual dwelling units…” with “individual building structures with varying numbers of dwelling units to provide varying floor plans and rental rates and would consist of a minimum of two to a maximum of eight individual, attached dwelling units,” the rezoning petition states.
The project will be designed to cater to the needs of older adults, specifically those 55 and older, the application reads.
The application said the population of elderly adults is growing and there is a need for 55 and older housing complexes that are designed to “accommodate the physical, social and health care needs of older adults.”
The applicant makes a case for the need by citing the goals of the All in Allen Comprehensive Plan that emphasizes the need for “age-specific housing,” specifically on page 27.
The density of the application is also justified by citing the comprehensive plan: “Multifamily development makes up nearly half of market demand and in Fort Wayne and Allen County, multifamily development is usually built at about 12 units per acre.”
A drive west on Till Road starting at Lima Road shows a mix of agricultural fields and single-family homes with no high-density development in sight. However, there are a number of for-sale signs for commercial and residential development.