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Proposed development could bring more senior apartments to Sugar Grove

SUGAR GROVE – Another apartment building for senior citizens appears to be coming to Sugar Grove, and it could be open as soon as this time next year.

Bear Development, which is based out of Kenosha, Wis., has proposed an apartment complex called Chelsea Senior Commons that would offer independent living for the senior population.

“We will not be providing services that you would find in facilities such as an assisted living facility or nursing home,” said Joe Schwenker, senior project manager for Bear Development. “The target population is active independent seniors.”

The village is home to Sugar Grove Senior Living, which is managed by Ludwig and Company. Sugar Grove Senior Living offers affordable one- and two-bedroom apartments for those 55 years of age and older.

Chelsea Senior Commons looks like it will be similar, although it will be restricted to adults 62 years of age and older.

Schwenker said they expect to have 50 residents at the new apartments. Some apartments will be two-bedroom units, and he acknowledged that some single residents could rent these and use the second bedroom for additional space.

“Our unit sizes will be 750 square foot for one bedroom and 1,000 square foot for two bedrooms,” he said.

Bear Development chose Sugar Grove as a location after it had conducted a demographic study of numerous other cities.

“There are over 54,000 seniors in the primary market area growing at 3 percent per year,” Schwenker said. “Sugar Grove has a growing population in general and a growing population of seniors 65 years of age and older. Comparable rental properties surveyed had very low [vacancy] rates and some had waiting lists. This coupled with growing macro demand for senior housing in general led us to Sugar Grove.”

Walter Magdziarz, community development director for the village of Sugar Grove, said the application for the project is for rezoning and preliminary plan approval.

“If approved, Bear Development will need to obtain final development plan approval before getting a building permit,” he said. “There are a lot of ifs, but Bear Development would like to be under construction early next year to be open before next winter.”

The proposed site at the southeast corner of Chelsea and Route 47 is zoned for commercial use so Bear Development has requested rezoning the property to senior residential district in order to construct an age-restricted senior apartment complex. The estimated construction cost of the project is $11 million.

“We are excited to be part of the growing Sugar Grove community,” Schwenker said. “We will build an attractive development that will be an asset for the village.”

Bear Development has been involved with the acquisition and development of similar projects for more than 30 years. In 2005, it became involved in the business of affordable housing.

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