Board OKs assisted living facility

GREENFIELD — A proposal to renovate a former Christian youth center in Fortville into an assisted living center for seniors was renewed recently.

The Hancock County Board of Zoning Appeals once again granted a request for special exception for the facility, which will accommodate up to six senior residents, age 55 and older.

The 8,800-square-foot facility, located at 800 N. Center St. in Fortville, is owned by American Home Health and Hospice Care Inc., a Cumberland-based home health care and rehabilitation agency established in 2006.

The board approved the same request in January 2014, but the exception expired before the developer was able to break ground on the project, said Greenfield attorney Ron Pritzke, who represents American Home Health.

Sajid Hameed, owner of American Home Health, said he’s confident that he’ll be able to begin renovations in the next three to four months. He doesn’t yet have a completion date set.

He chose to invest in the dilapidated property for the potential it offers, he said.

“There aren’t many assisted living centers in Fortville as there are in many similar communities,” Hameed said. “I think there is certainly the need for more.”

When opened, the living center will employ one full-time nurse to assist residents, Hameed said. He also anticipates hiring part-time help as he sees necessary.

The facility, which most recently housed a child care service, will use two current structures located on about two-thirds of an acre of land. The structure has been vacant for several years and could benefit from a private owner, Hameed said.

Hameed anticipates spending at least $100,000 to outfit the buildings with all the necessary equipment and renovations, he said, which include overhauling the property’s storm water and sewage management.

Though the site is zoned for multi-family residential housing and is surrounded by single-family homes, members of the zoning board don’t anticipate any issues. Of the 58 neighboring property owners, none showed up to speak against the project at the January 2014 meeting or last week’s meeting.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or