The Greenburgh Town Board recently approved a special permit that sets the stage for the construction of a 90-unit, assisted-living facility on Old White Plains Road.
Brightview Senior Living, which operates 28 senior-living facilities in eight states, plans to build what will be the first assisted-living residence in the unincorporated sector of Greenburgh.
Two hurdles remain. Brightview must await licensing approval from the Department of Health in Albany and it must choose a bank to finance its $16 million construction project before it is shovel ready.
“We submitted a licensing application back in March,” said Michael Glynn, Brightview development director. “There’s been a lot of turnover and retirements at the Department of Health, so our license has been delayed a number of times.”
He said Brightview plans to choose a bank by Thanksgiving and to start construction by January. The four-story building, which would replace three single-family homes, has a speculative opening date of spring 2015.
Earlier this year, some residents voiced their concerns about the assisted senior living facility because of the visual impacts the structure might have on the neighborhood.
The back part of the building, which would have been built on a rock slope, concerned the neighbors because the structure was too tall. After revising the blueprint, the height of the senior facility was reduced in the back to appear level with the rest of the homes in the neighborhood, said Thomas Madden, Greenburgh planning commissioner.
“We had to remove the rock from the slope,” Madden said. “We pushed the building forward closer to the street to reduce the impact on the site itself. Now the height is less than 30 feet, and it appears no different than the back of any other home.”
Another concern presented by the residents was the issue of building an assisted-living facility that doesn’t accept seniors with Medicaid.
“These facilities generally charge between $3,000 and $8,000 a month to live there,” said Robert Bernstein, an Edgemont lawyer and longtime Greenburgh resident. “In a facility like Brightview that doesn’t have a policy for residents who can no longer afford to live there when their money runs out, they’re forced out and that creates hardships.”
However, the developers have designed the facility to serve as a private senior assisted living place, which means they aren’t required to accept Medicaid, said David Steinmetz, attorney for Brightview.
“Brightview doesn’t operate as a government-subsidized program,” Steinmetz said. “But they will provide some discounted rates.”