A senior community for ages 55-plus, with resources available for home and community-based services is planned for Nascentia Health’s new campus to be located at the former Beeches Inn and Conference Center on Turin Road.
Nascentia has outlined Phase I and II of their project, with hopes to break ground in September.
Nascentia officials reiterated that several structural features and amenities of The Beeches, including the famous sculpture, a remake of “The Capitoline Wolf,” featuring Remus and Romulus, the mythical twins who led to the fabled founding of the eternal city of Rome, Italy, will remain to help pay homage to Rome’s history.
The conference center will also be rented out to the community for weddings, seminars and other large functions, in addition to being used for special senior community events.
Representatives of Nascentia Health, headquartered in Syracuse, gave a presentation to Common Council members during a special work session held prior to Wednesday’s Common Council meeting.
Nascentia President and CEO Kate Rolf, formerly of Rome, led the discussions, where council members had the opportunity to ask questions about the future plans for the site, as well as the type of senior community the company had planned and services that would be offered to residents.
Once known as the Visiting Nurses Association of CNY founded in 1890, Nascentia Health is a company that offers managed long-term care and in-home care services for the elderly, as well as insurance plans, operating in 48 counties throughout Upstate New York.
According to Rolf, the former Beeches site would not operate as a skilled nursing facility.
“This is not a nursing home. We’ve been working with another company in Syracuse on housing for individuals for services we provide here,” Rolf said. The Beeches, “would be perfect to have a retirement-type community.”
Plans are that “we’ll be turning it into a senior housing community with one-story cottages and duplexes,” she continued. “The downstairs basement (in the Mansion House) we plan to use for a gym and conference center to offer other services and activities that are on the campus.”
Nascentia already owns and operates The Gardens at St. Anthony’s senior low-income apartments in Syracuse and Rolf said it is not yet known if housing to be located at The Beeches would primarily be for low-income seniors. Nascentia will lease several of the professional buildings on campus as well as the housing.
“We want to utilize the property to better meet the needs of the aging adult population,” Rolf explained. It will be “independent living” with “supportive senior housing home health services, where people can come to our office and arrange for rides to doctor’s appointments or the grocery store, people can buy meals ala cart, etc. There will be paved sidewalks and walking trails, and different activities” to do on campus.
Amenities will also include laundry service, congregate meals and housekeeping services.
“We’re developing a PACE program (all-inclusive care for the elderly) and thought it (The Beeches) would be a nice place to house that,” she added. Staff “will go to a house and provide care, or we’ll have primary or adult day care services there” for residents to utilize, “or they (area seniors) can be brought there.”
Rolf said Nascentia is partnering with Revere Copper & Brass because of their historic contribution to the city, as well as copper being known as an anti-microbial surface — which means it kills or slows the spread of microorganisms to include bacteria and viruses.
“We are partnering with them for the front canopies...we’re changing the entryway and putting on a copper canopy,” said Rolf, adding that Revere would also provide a copper top for the bar, as well as door and light plates.
There are also plans to gut the current kitchens as most will be unusable, Rolf said.
“We don’t want to run a restaurant. The Mansion House will be a facility to be rented and it will be utilized by a handful of caterers coming in and out, and we’ll have a kitchen for their use,” Rolf added.
She went on to describe other future plans for the Mansion House, such as changing the coat closet into restroom space and adding a bridal suite for brides to get ready for their ceremonies. The banquet hall would not be used by senior residents unless there was a special celebration or event for them planned there.
Upgrades to the Mansion House will also make the building Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.
Current Beeches property details:
• 42 acres of woodlands and open areas
• 10 acres of buildings and parking lots
• Conference Center
• The Inn at the Beeches
• 69 rooms, lobby, cafe and executive suite
• Three carriage houses
• Two stone cottages
• Utility building
• Five professional buildings with 11 suites
• Maintenance building
• Outdoor pool
• Two ponds
The first two phases of Nascentia’s project would take place almost simultaneously with the goal of construction starting in September.
Phase I: Mansion House renovations (first floor); complete plans for the inn/motor lodge; and grand funding applications.
Phase II (2022): Inn/motor lodge renovations to begin in early spring; Mansion House renovations (first floor) complete in early spring; develop plans for the second floor of the Mansion House and basement renovations; develop designs for walking trails, roads and outdoor living space; and complete designs for cottages and duplex neighborhoods.
Construction and renovations have been organized into five phases. Rolf said Nascentia is also working with Mohawk Valley EDGE for obtaining possible grant monies and regional economic funding to support the project.
Nascentia Health currently has about 630 employees.