Cambridge approves new senior housing development

The Cambridge City Council held two public hearings and approved action relating to a new senior housing development during its July 21 meeting.

Economic Development Director Stan Gustafason explained Summit Development plans to build a 70-unit senior housing complex in the Parkwood neighborhood along Sixth Lane Southeast.

The preliminary plan is for a three-story complex consisting of 22 independent living units, 24 assisted living units and 24 memory care units. The overall project is estimated to cost $9 million to $11.5 million, or $128,500 to $168,000 per unit. The facility will have underground parking, an elevator, staff lounge, maintenance room, workshop, lobby, dining area, day rooms, office space, library, creative arts room, community room, card room and salon.

Gustafason explained the tax increment financing, or TIF, requested on the project is up to $843,950 or up to 10 years. The developer will retain 90 percent of the TIF and the city will retain 10 percent for administration. He explained it’s a pay-as-you-go TIF obligation.

Peter Jesh with Summit Senior Communities explained construction may start this year or next spring, and he anticipates more than 60 full-time jobs will be created during construction.

Following discussion, the council approved a motion adopting a modification to the Development Program for Development District No. 6 and the TIF plan for the establishment of TIF District No. 6-16, and approved the contract for private development with Senior Summit Communities.

Development of task force to address aquatics facility


City Administrator Lynda Woulfe explained, in the June city newsletter, she included an article on the council’s priorities and a short, unscientific survey on the potential for an aquatics center.

Based on the results, Woulfe recommended the council appoint an aquatics facility task force to address the aquatic center concept and explore the options of indoor versus outdoor or both, cost estimates, and more.

Following discussion, the council approved a motion to advertise for Cambridge residents to serve on the task force and take applications of interest.

Woulfe said the city will advertise for task force members the third week in August and have the council act on the recommendations at its first meeting in October. Woulfe said the task force should consist of 15-20 people.

Palmer said she was in favor of appointing a task force to explore the options.

“It’s truly up to us as elected officials to look at every avenue and we do need to start with a task force,” Palmer said. “I have always believed what the people create, they will support.”

Council Member Howard “Howie” Lewis said Cambridge has a lot of wonderful, family-friendly options but is missing a family fitness and swimming facility.

“I’ve done a lot of research on YMCAs and the YMCA will only come to a community if the community supports it,” Lewis said. “Lino Lakes started with a capital campaign that took seven years, but after seven years, they built it. The YMCA really becomes a place for families and a place to get together. It has to be a grassroots effort. We are not too small for a facility, and the YMCA scales its family memberships based on the income level of the community and also provides scholarships. We are at the point in time where we need to get it started and get the ball rolling. YMCA provides a highly professional staff, and their business model is a ‘no fail’ model. They won’t come unless they’re 100 percent sure it’ll be successful.”