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Memory care facility approved for Merrillville

Updated: March 3, 2014 4:53PM



MERRILLVILLE — The Plan Commission has approved an upscale memory care facility near Interstate 65 and U.S. 30, while taking steps to address some concerns aired previously by neighbors.

The commission said approval of the facility at 7900 Rhode Island St. is contingent upon an 8-foot PVC fence being erected on the west side of the property.

The commission president, Councilman Shawn Pettit, D-6th, also said town officials will meet with those residents of Chapel Manor who say they are having drainage problems to determine how to solve them.

Several residents of the Chapel Manor neighborhood had attended a previous commission meeting to remonstrate against the facility proposed by Whiteco Industries Inc. of Merrillville, saying it will destroy the neighborhood, lower property values, create a safety issue and worsen already bad drainage problems.

But commission member Brian Dering said the facility, for individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s, will be a positive addition to town.

“It will be a magnificent building and has the best landscaping plan. They are really committed to what they’re doing,” Dering said of KC Development of Kenosha, Wis., which specializes in such projects.

Chet Bradeen of KC Development, has said the facility will include an outside courtyard, four separate “life stations” that mimic residents’ former life situations such as a primping station where they can try on hats and put on makeup and a business area with a rolltop desk, rooms with private bathrooms and a spa area.

He said certified nursing assistants at their facilities are typically paid $12 an hour, licensed practical nurses are paid $18 to $20 an hour and registered nurses $25 to $27 an hour. He hopes to obtain a building permit by spring and said construction would take 10 to 12 months.



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