Neil Kraay, president of Leisure Living Management, speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony in Port Huron on Jan. 28, 2020. (Photo: Bryce Airgood/Times Herald)
Neil Kraay, president of the Grand Rapids-based company, said everything has gone through the appropriate approval channels and there is a completed set of plans and the company is currently in the bid process.
“As soon as we’re ready to go, we’re ready to go,” he said.
The facility will be called Jordan Creek Assisted Living and will be built at 1003 Brown St. in St. Clair, he said.
Neil Kraay said the St. Clair project is “just a touch smaller” than the Port Huron project, Bridgewater Terrace Assisted Living.
The plans in St. Clair call for 40 units, 12 memory care units and 28 assisted living units at an estimated $7.5 to $8 million investment. A $9.5 million assisted living facility in Port Huron will have 44 units.
He said it will be the same type of unit mix and model as the Port Huron facility, with some large studios, one-bedroom units and deluxe units.
Neil Kraay thinks it’s been two or three years since the company originally had the conversations to bring the facility to St. Clair. A partner in the project owned the property and originally intended to develop it into a condo project.
“But through conversations with the city and starting to look at the entitlement of that land he came across the feedback that some senior housing was something that St. Clair needed,” he said.
The business partner and Leisure Living Management were connected through another contact and they decided to work on the project together, Neil Kraay said.
Colin Kraay, Leisure Living Management’s chief operating officer and Neil Kraay’s son, said the St. Clair project will break ground this spring, probably sometime in April, and will hopefully open sometime in April 2021.
Bridgewater Terrace Assisted Living will be Leisure Living Management’s 28th location and Jordan Creek Assisted Living will be its 29th location.
Colin Kraay said the St. Clair location will not be too large and will not be multi-story, but will be a “very homelike environment” with great food.
“We find that in communities like both Port Huron and St. Clair, they’re generally underserved,” he said. “They may have a nursing community, they may have some independent, but this gives people a little bit more flexibility as their needs change to stay in one location.”
St. Clair Mayor Bill Cedar said he believes there’s a need for this type of facility not just in St. Clair but in any town in the United States.
“The trend is, obviously, people are getting older,” he said.
With the need for elderly care it creates a demand for what Leisure Living Management is developing, Cedar said, and they know what they’re doing.
Neil Kraay said there is an increased need for senior care he has noticed in the past 20 years in the business.
The average age in Leisure Living Management locations is mid-80s but some are still in their 70s. The reality going forward is people are living longer, they’ve been a little healthier, but they’re showing up in the buildings a little older and frailer. So they need to be ready to serve that population, he said.
“That’s the niche that assisted living historically has fallen into,” Colin Kraay said. “Our ability to take care of people with higher needs, but make it feel homey and comfortable. And that’s what we strive to do, knowing that there is no replacement for home, but you get to a point and you need socialization, you need somebody to check in on you regularly, you need somebody to help you with some things that you used to take care of yourself. And that’s the role that we play.”
D.J. Boulier, St. Clair’s building inspector, said Jordan Creek Assisted Living’s building will be around 36,00 square feet and a single story.
The company has already been through planning phase and they are reviewing drawings now for building permits. It’s still 60 days out before the company can get started, he said.
Colin Kraay said he and his father are excited for the projects in this area.
“As you’re embarking on a new construction project and you know the challenges that you hit, yet at the end of the day it really is about serving people,” he said. “And I can tell you his heart has not stopped wanting to do that nor has mine.”
Bryce Airgood is the business reporter for the Times Herald. Have questions or a story idea? You can contact her at (810) 989-6202 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @bairgood123.
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