Less than a year from now, according to the owner’s schedule, a 92 unit assisted-living complex will be in business at 240 South Rd.
Construction is well underway and inquiries are answered via a website. The 4.3-acre location was formerly owned by Iovino Excavating, and before that was the site of George Meade Foundry for many years.
The Residence at Bedford is part of Norwood-based LCB Senior Living, which owns 35 similar developments between South Burlington, VT, and suburban Philadelphia.
According to Ted Doyle, LCB’s vice president of marketing and communications, the Residence at Bedford will be a rental facility, comprising 66 independent and assisted-living apartments (11 studio, 45 one-bedroom, 10 two-bedroom) and 26 units in a memory-care section. Asked about the rent amounts, he said they will be “in line with our assisted living communities in the area.”
He said the company hopes the project can open “sometime in the first quarter of next year. It’s sort of dependent on what kind of winter we have.”
Doyle emphasized that although there will be nurses on staff, the Residence at Bedford is not a medical facility. “We call our services help with the activities of daily living,” he said, whether that’s fastening buttons, reminding about medications, helping with bathing and dressing, escorting to meals, or maintaining the apartment.”
He noted that the independent and assisted-living apartments are identical, with the services available as needed.
The complex will be a single three-story, 90,000-square-foot wood-frame facility. “We love the residential setting. It has great proximity to all kinds of different attractions,” Doyle remarked.
The private apartments – studios and one- and two-bedrooms – will be equipped with kitchenettes and full bathrooms, Doyle said. The building also “has a lot of common space, designed to bring people out and be social.” The features will include a theater, arts and crafts rooms, a library, and “kitchens where people can meet with their friends and cook together.
We want people to be part of a community.”
Meals, included in the rent, will be served in the full-service restaurant, open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Doyle said, with the entire menu available during that window. “The food is actually pretty amazing. We hire professional chefs.”
Doyle emphasized plans for “engagement programming. “Seven days a week, into the early evening hours, we will create a whole life around our residents.” He described continuing education with student teachers; performing arts, including Bedford High School musical groups; lectures; and “people with all kinds of different skills to share with our residents.”
Transportation provided by the facility will take residents to stores or museums or medical appointments or worship, all included in the rent, Doyle continued. Plans call for walking trails, and “we back right up to the Minuteman Bikeway, which is a nice amenity. We’re building an access point to the bike trail that will be a dedicated path open to all.”
Memory care, the spokesman said, involves “all kinds of therapies for people who are suffering from memory-loss issues.” He said specialized programs “help people feel fulfilled and engaged and positive.”
Doyle said the Residence will employ about 80 full- and part-time workers, ranging from positions in business and marketing to culinary, caregiving, and maintenance. “We are working now on lining up our sales team and executive director,” he said. “When we get about four months before opening, we’ll really get into the hiring.”
Most LCB residents are in their late ’70s and ’80s, Doyle said. About 10 percent are couples, and sometimes the parties have differing healthcare needs, he said. Residents sign one-year leases. “People’s health needs change so we have to stay flexible.”
The owner expects to have between 50 and 75 percent of the units leased before opening, Doyle said.
“The town has been really great to work with,” Doyle said. “This was especially a positive process. The town is really eager to do something good here and the neighborhood is very supportive. We are looking forward to becoming part of that community.”
The spokesman stressed that “we are a tax-positive business, a for-profit company that affects local services very lightly.” Based on comparable facilities, he said, “We put about $3 million a year into the local economy between salaries and purchasing.”
Assisted living is also “a low-traffic generator,” Doyle said. “It tends to be something that most communities are receptive to. It provides housing stock for seniors and is tax positive. The beauty of an assisted living community is: it has to be attractive and well kept, and by definition ends up being a very nice neighbor.”
“People living at home can be burdened by the home,” Doyle observed. “If you can’t drive, you’re beholden to a lot of other people to do what you want to do. Isolation is such a threat to people as they age. It can limit their lives on a day-to-day basis.” A place like the Residence at Bedford, he said, “turns back the clock and creates a new sense of independence.”
He pointed out the growth potential of the industry. “We haven’t even hit the baby boomers yet – that will be 25 years of enhanced demand.”
[Editor’s Note: LCB Senior Living no longer owns Atria Longmeadow in Burlington as originally stated. Longmeadow in Burlington, originally built by LCB in the mid-90s, was sold to Atria in 2005. Updated 5/2/2023]