November 2, 2018

Cromwell retirement community eyes $48M expansion

The Covenant Village of Cromwell is slated for a $48 million expansion.

A 220-unit retirement community in Cromwell is slated to add another 54 units under a proposed $48 million expansion.

The Covenant Village of Cromwell at 52 Missionary Road is expected to receive all necessary approvals from the town's Planning and Zoning Commission by the end of November, according to the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA), which is funding the proposed expansion through tax-exempt bonds.

CHEFA helps not-for-profit organizations gain access to low-cost debt capital through tax-exempt public/private debt.

Stuart Popper, Cromwell's director of planning and development, said the Covenant Village, a faith-based Christian community, has received several zoning approvals recently and is nearing final stages of approval.

The expansion comes at a time of significant growth of senior-living facilities in the state to meet the needs of an aging population. It includes adding an additional 76,000 square feet for housing and another 34,000 square feet of a common area. Known as a "town center," the space will include three dining venues, lobbies, a game room, an art studio, a wellness center, event center and other amenities, CHEFA officials said.

If approved, construction would begin in Feb. 2019 with an 18-month construction period ending Nov. 2020.

Michael Morris, CHEFA's managing director of financing programs, said 75 percent of the new units were sold within 10 weeks of launching the sales effort. Most tenants move to the village from a 25-mile radius, he said.

"The facility is doing well and has a high occupancy rate, which is part of the need for the expansion," Morris said.

Established in 1964, the Covenant Village houses an assortment of one-bedroom, two-bedroom, deluxe apartments, patio homes and courtyard cottages scattered across its roughly 38-acre campus.

The complex offers three levels of care: independent, personal and skilled nursing care, including rehabilitation and therapy services.

As of Dec. 2017, Covenant Village said it had 350 residents and 230 employees in Cromwell, according to its website.

Owned by Covenant Retirement Communities Inc., the Cromwell site is the company's only complex in Connecticut. It also operates 16 other communities in Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Washington, Colorado and California.

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