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The Rivers retirement community unanimously OK’d by Woods City Council

By: Ryan Felton 06.07.2011  in Grosse Pointe Today

Developers of The Rivers of Grosse Pointe, a continuing care retirement community on the site of the closed Children’s Home of Detroit, cleared their final hurdle Monday night (June 6), with the unanimous approval of the project by the Grosse Pointe Woods City Council.

Project developer Richard Levin spoke to a larger-than-average council audience about the anticipation he’s heard from residents. “We’ve received six calls from people already asking how soon they can take the unit they’re looking for,” he said. “We’d like to get started as soon as we can.”

Council members responded with ample support for the plan for the Cook Road site.

“I’m surprised it’s only six,” council member Vicki Granger said. “I look forward to this starting ASAP.”

Gene Tutag, head of the Woods’ building department, gave a lengthy presentation outlining the details of the project, which will fill the 16-acre site with freestanding condo-cottages, assisted-living units and a 100-bed nursing unit. The city has been in discussion with developers for the project since October 2009, he said.

“A CCRC is a special category of senior housing,” Tutag said. “They offer two or more types of senior housing.”

The mix of living spaces is intended to offer a vast array of options and care for seniors as they age.

Levin said the developers would prefer to have 12 months to begin construction, while Mayor Robert Novitke asked for groundbreaking in 90 days. “If we agree to that (90 days) and we can’t comply, then the project would fail,” Levin said. “I think an outside date of 12 months is fair.”

The potential consequences of increased traffic, vacant rooms and slow sales in a still-lackluster economy were overridden by anecdotal support from residents.

“I have a really strong feeling about this project for personal reasons,” said Mary Rose Nelson, a lifelong resident of Grosse Pointe Woods, who spoke of her own mother. “It breaks my heart I have no place to put her.”

In other business, the council gave recognition to Eagle Scout William David Rochte. “This is obviously a great pleasure,” Novitke said. “You reflect so wonderfully on the city of Grosse Pointe Woods.”

Rochte has been a member of the National Honor Society for the past two years and maintained a 4.0 GPA. He’ll attend Michigan State University with pre-med plans.

To learn more, interested parties can visit http://theriversgrossepointe.net/ or call 1-855-5The-Rivers.

http://grossepointetoday.com/news/cities/002027-rivers-retirement-communityunanimously-okd-woods-city-council

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