Seniors Community Going Up in Metaire

Publish Date:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Category:

News Organization:

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

Source URL:

A dirt lot along West Esplanade Avenue and Grace King Place in Metairie, now the home of chain-link fences and bulldozers, will soon develop into a new assisted living community for senior citizens.

Sunrise Senior Living of McLean, Va., which operates three other facilities in Louisiana, plans to open the 56,000-square-feet, three-story facility by December 2008.

"Metairie offered us a great market to serve a large number of seniors," company spokesman Jameson Gosslin said. "It provides a great place to construct a facility."

The facility will have room for 73 residents, but Gosslin said Sunrise had yet to begin any marketing blitz. Donahue Favret Contractors of Mandeville is constructing the new building.

Gosslin said the average resident at Sunrise facilities is a woman, usually in her mid-80s, who needs help with one or two daily activities, such as dressing or bathing. At the Metairie site, each resident will have a private suite, either a studio or one-bedroom apartment. Almost two thirds of the facility will be dedicated to common space, Gosslin said.

Metairie has been an enclave for a senior population for years. Before Hurricane Katrina, roughly 17 percent of the population was 65 or older, compared to a 13-percent national average, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While the 2005 storm likely shuffled that statistic, Sunrise still saw enough elderly potential residents in the area to warrant an investment in the new site, Gosslin said.

Sunrise Senior Living operates similar facilities in Baton Rouge, Slidell and Hammond. Its Bayou St. John community was evacuated before Katrina wiped out the facility.

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