SOUTH BEND - The St. Joseph County Council has approved a pair of zoning petitions related to a proposed improvement project at Healthwin, the county-owned senior living facility on Darden Road.
Despite stated opposition to the project from local trade groups, no one spoke in opposition to the petitions during the period for public comment on each.
In opposing the project, those groups had argued it represented a public works project and was therefore subject to the state’s common construction wage law.
But the county disagreed, noting the project was not only being undertaken by the private operator of the facility, not the county, but also involved no public money.
Both petitions passed by votes of 9-0. They now move to the Board of Commissioners for final approval.
Operator Pillar Management Group is undertaking the project in anticipation of an increased need for long-term senior care for the aging baby boomer population.
The first phase, already under way, involves interior improvements to the facility, including a new fire suppression system, an expanding dining area, a new nurses station, and more parking
Phase two, tentatively set to begin later next year, calls for a new wing with additional beds.
In other business:
The council approved two resolutions related to a proposed senior housing complex at Indiana 933 and Darden Road, site of the former North Village Mall in Clay Township.
The resolutions provide for a three-year real property tax abatement in connection to the development and the creation of a “State Highway 933 Corridor Plan” to help obtain state tax credits for it.
Equal Development of Indianapolis plans to spend about $12.5 million to build a 74-unit senior housing complex on part of the site.
Diversified Real Estate of South Bend, the current owner, bought the aging mall last July. It has demolished it and prepared the land for future development.