McCORDSVILLE — A senior living facility being built on the county’s northwest side aims to fill a void in senior housing options for the community.

Construction is underway on Traditions at Brookside, a 125,000-square-foot senior living complex on County Road 900N in McCordsville. The more than $20 million facility will offer 133 assisted and independent living units once its first phase is complete late this year or early next year.

The facility’s opening will create 40 jobs.

Those overseeing the project said senior citizens in McCordsville are underserved in terms of housing options.

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And facilities that meet seniors’ needs as they age will become increasingly important as the number of seniors living in Hancock County grows, says Linda Hart, executive director of Hancock County Senior Services.

Baby boomers are reaching retirement and beyond, and the number of people age 50 and older is on the rise nationally, according to the U.S. Census.

The number of residents 85 and older in Hancock County has nearly doubled since 2000, Census figures show. And the number of residents 65 and older rose by about 3,500, from 6,200 to 9,700, since 2000.

Those aging residents and their family members are seeking senior communities to help them maintain their independence or oversee their care, experts said.

Greenfield has several assisted and independent living facilities, but other areas of the county currently lack those options.

On the county’s southwest side, construction is underway on a senior living facility in New Palestine. Plans call for 125 units.

Plans to renovate a former Christian youth center in Fortville into an assisted living facility were approved last year, but that facility is much smaller than Brookside and will be able to house only six residents.

“(Traditions at Brookside) is the kind of development that’s needed,” Hart said.

The Brookside Senior Living Facility has been on the docket since last summer. It received the final go-ahead from town officials late last year and started construction several weeks ago.

Town officials are excited to see the project move forward, said Ryan Crum, director of building and planning for McCordsville. The project makes good use of previously undeveloped land off County Road 600W that is nestled among subdivisions.

The senior living community is an important development to the entire county, but as McCordsville grows, more senior housing options will be needed, he said.

The facility will cater to those 85 and older, said Mike Wagner, vice president of the Leo Brown Group, a health care real estate firm overseeing the project. It will offer up to 115 assisted living units for residents unable to live independently. The assisted living portion of the project will include a secure unit for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.

Brookside also will offer apartment-style homes for seniors who don’t need outside assistance but want to be part of a senior community that offers access to meals, housekeeping, transportation and social and recreational activities.

As many as 42 of those units are planned; residents living in them may transition into the assisted living units as their needs increase, Wagner said.

Wagner said the Leo Brown Group, which develops and operates senior living facilities across the Midwest, chose McCordsville for the project because it’s a growing community that currently lacks many options for senior living. The facility hopes to draw residents from Hancock, Marion and Hamilton counties.

“The area is underserved, in our opinion, as far as top-quality senior living communities,” Wagner said.

At a glance

Traditions at Brookside, a 125,000-square-foot senior living facility under construction in McCordsville, will offer 133 assisted and independent living units for seniors 85 and older. 

Construction started several weeks ago and is expected to be complete at the end of this year or in early 2017.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.