As student housing high-rises stack up on Grand River Avenue, something different is coming to Abbot Road. Provision Living, a three-phrase senior living community, has been approved by the East Lansing City Council and will begin construction this spring.
Provision Living Principal David Baylis attended the council’s Jan. 21 meeting to present his company’s vision.
“Our core business is taking care of seniors and being part of communities,” Baylis said. “Yes, we would like to build this building, but we don’t go anywhere. We really become part of the neighborhood and part of the fabric of the community and that is our main focus.”
Once completed, the project will feature 58 independent living villas, 160 apartments and 107 assisted living and memory care rooms. The community would cater to citizens 55 years or older and take up 23 acres on Abbot Road.
City planning and zoning administrator David Haywood said East Lansing needs retirement housing.
“We certainly have an aging population and that fits right into that need,” Haywood said. “They have a spectrum of assisted living and housing types in that development for persons 55 and older, so it certainly fits within the demographic that we have.”
Provision Living is based in St. Louis and has built in Grand Rapids, West Bloomfield and Ann Arbor. Baylis said the company is excited to build in East Lansing.
“We’ve been studying East Lansing for a number of years now,” Baylis said. “For the assisted living and independent living product we absolutely feel that it’s underserved and our product can fit right into that.”
City Councilmember Jessy Gregg said she supports the project.
“I’m generally in favor of any kind of development that is not related to student housing,” Gregg said. “Not that I have any problem with student housing, we just have an imbalance within the community, so I think anything that provides a space or opportunity for people to age within the community is a benefit. We don’t want to lose our residents when they get up towards retirement age.”
Burcham Hills,on Burcham Drive, is a retirement community that has undergone recent renovations. Gregg said she believes Burcham Hills and Provision Living, which will be roughly 3.4 miles apart, will be two retirement communities that provide similar independence to their residents.
“Burcham Hills is more apartment style, people are able to be a little more self sufficient and that’s my understanding that the Provision Living would be similar,” Gregg said. “There’s going to be villas where people can have a safe place. As people get older, being too alone is kind of a danger as you get more health problems, so I think in that sense I’m in favor of it and I think it’s a nice fit for people who want to age more in the community.”
Provision Living developments feature theaters, bistros and beauty salons.
Baylis said, “within our communities we like to design them so that people really don’t have to go anywhere, although we have transportation because we want them to be part of the community, as well.”
No date was confirmed on when the project will be completed.