Two senior living communities have plans to open in Boca Raton in the next several years.
The city council approved two different requests to bring an assisted living facility downtown and an adult congregate living facility to the northwest corridor of the city.
Both offer upscale places for the city’s older population to reside. Council members expressed the same concern over both projects— how much the city’s emergency medical services will be used.
The city can’t refuse a person transportation to a hospital and it can’t mandate facilities pay a fee for the service.
Representatives from the facilities said they have enough medical staff and nurses on staff to be able to reserve hospital transports for emergencies while treating minor ailments on site.
Council members agreed to look into the topic during a workshop meeting to determine how to address a possible uptick in calls for emergency transports. City staff said it costs about $1,000 for each emergency medical service call.
Councilman Robert Weinroth pointed out that if current Boca residents move from their homes into a community, it may not create additional calls for service. Rather the calls will be more centralized.
“We shouldn’t lose sight of the real benefit,” he said. “There is a cost for every new person moving into our city.”
The council sitting as the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency approved plans for a 193-unit assisted living facility downtown at 375 E. Royal Palm Road.
“We call it the extraordinary senior living community in downtown Boca Raton,” said Richard Bassell, director of planing and development for Penn Florida Companies, which is the developer and owner of the property.
If all goes according to plan the goal is to open the community by 2021. The developers said they have been working on the project since 2014.
This community will be managed by Watercrest Senior Living. It will have 63 memory care studios, 70 studios, 50 one-bedroom units and 10 two-bedroom units.
The ground floor will feature a living room, salon, fitness area, doctor’s office, pool and recreation deck. The second floor will house the dining room, kitchen, social hall and outdoor terrace.
Councilman Weinroth said it is a facility he wouldn’t mind moving into, just not yet.
“A lot of our residents will be very pleased once it’s completed,” he said.
The second project will bring 151 beds in a combination of studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedroom units as well as a memory care unit to nearly 5 acres of vacant property at 8250 North Congress Ave.
The community will also provide accommodations like a lounge bar, bistro, card room, dining room, salon, library, theater and sitting areas.
In addition, the project includes a 3,500-square-foot urgent care center that is open to the public. The goal is to keep the center open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. once it is open.
“The urgent care facility will be a benefit to the residents and businesses in that area,” Mayor Susan Haynie said.