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Proposed Batavia senior housing project offers options

Planners approve 142-unit Windmill Landings

BATAVIA – A 142-unit Batavia senior housing project will provide residents with both independent and assisted-living options along with a memory care facility in a massive building expected to open in 2020.

The $43 million Windmill Landings development at 2401 Hawks Drive is expected to complement the soon-to-open Windmill Manor senior apartments project directly across the street.

The 200,000-square-foot, four-level building will occupy a 7.3-acre site bounded by Hawks Drive on the south, Fabyan Parkway on the north, the Walmart store on the east, and the Dreyer Medical Clinic on the west.

The full-service facility will employ about 80 to 100 full-time equivalents, including nurses, cooks, maintenance workers, activities staff and administrators, said Ted Lowndes, president of Nebraska-based Dial Retirement Communities.

The developer, Iowa-based Russell Construction, hopes to begin excavation for the project before the end of the year, said David Smith, a vice president with the firm.

The project moved toward that goal July 18, when the Batavia Plan Commission approved the development. The plan next goes to a committee-level hearing of city aldermen, before final approval by the Batavia City Council.

The 59-foot-tall building will house 59 one-bedroom apartments, 50 two-bedroom units and nine studio apartments along with 24 studio units in the separate memory care facility for people dealing with dementia.

Lowndes emphasized that the entire facility will be licensed for various levels of service, meaning that residents who enter the building under the independent living option may later graduate to assisted living without moving from their apartments.

The facility will include a dining hall, exercise studio, hair salon and other amenities, Smith said.

The 80-unit Windmill Manor development across the street has an ownership connection with Windmill Landings, through an Iowa-based firm doing business locally as JNB Batavia.

Most of the apartments at Windmill Manor are offered with rents subsidized by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, but Windmill Landings will be entirely a market-rate proposition.

Rents will range from $3,500 to $5,500 per month depending on apartment size, meal plan and level of service, Lowndes said, while residents of the memory care facility will pay about $6,500 per month.

The giant L-shaped building will appear as three or four stories depending on the elevation. There will be 138 parking spaces, 60 of them located underneath the building.

Access to the facility will be both from Hawks Drive and from Fabyan Parkway via the existing Janet Lane, which is to be vacated as a city street.

Two houses, one on each side of Janet Lane, already have been acquired. The house to the east of Janet Lane will be demolished, while the other is expected to be used for staging during construction and later possibly as an auxiliary structure serving the project.

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