NEW LONDON—During Tuesday’s Lion’s Club meeting at the Spicer American Legion, Bethesda administrators provided a public update on the $19.5 million development of Bethesda North Pointe—the new senior and assisted living center under construction along Peterson Parkway in New London.
Bethesda’s Chief Development Officer Caroline Chan and Regional Director of Housing Carli Stensrud, offered a summary of the progress since groundbreaking took place last fall, and fielded questions from those in attendance on topics ranging from rental pricing to the development of dining and recreational facilities:
“When will Bethesda North Point open?”
Weather permitting, the center will be up and running 12-18 months after construction resumes this spring.
“How big will the facility be?”
Although originally planned as a 72-unit, 95,000 square-foot facility with 18 memory care units, 18 assisted living units and 36 senior apartments, Chan said that North Pointe is now “a 75-unit development at 101,000 square feet. (this does not include the pool and pickleball court that we are fundraising for.) There will be a total of 39 independent/assisted apartments and the others will remain 18.”
“What are the sizes and styles of the independent apartments?”
In total, there are expected to be 12 different floor plans residents will be able to choose from.
Dimensions of the independent apartments will range from studio apartments “around the 500-square-foot mark,” up to 1,300-square foot two-bedroom units. The number of each unit remains subject to change, but options include two bedroom, two bath units and one bedroom, one bath options.
The majority of the units are expected to be one bedroom designs, with approximately six studio styles available. However, some of the studio units may be converted into either one bedroom or one bedroom plus den options based on public feedback.
In order to retain a “local flavor,” rooms will be named after area lakes, with bigger rooms named after bigger lakes, and vice versa.
“Will there be a pool?”
While the development of the center, itself, is estimated to cost $17.5 million, the additional “wellness component” including a pool and indoor sports court (pickleball) is estimated to cost $2 million.
Bethesda North Pointe is planning to construct both the court and pool, but whether or not these amenities are built by the date of the grand opening depends on the success of fundraising efforts.
“What will the pool look like?”
The pool will be a warm water therapy pool similar to the model at Bethesda’s Willmar site. According to Chan, the Willmar pool is in frequent use, drawing people from a roughly 70-mile radius for its therapeutic benefits.
Bethesda members will be able to use either pool as part of their membership. The pool(s) will be free to use for members, but there will be a usage fee for non-members. This policy also applies to exercise equipment at Bethesda sites.
“What are the dining options?”
The center will feature a main dining room, cafe and pub-style club lounge. The memory care and enhanced living areas also will have dining rooms.
“Is there enough ground available for future expansion?”
Yes. The facility is being built on an 11-acre parcel.
“How does the rental model work?”
Bethesda uses a month-by-month leasing model. This means rather than signing a year-long lease, Stensrud said, “we do a reservation agreement, so an interested party can make a reservation deposit indicating ‘this is the apartment I want,’ and then we reserve it up to a certain point and a person can start paying rent. So you don’t have to sign a one-year lease or put a significant amount of money down up-front other than the reservation agreement.
“And if you were to decide to move out or need to move somewhere else for care or service, you would need to give a 30-day notice. And if you move to a place within Bethesda, we make exceptions to that as well.”
“Is there a waiting list?”
Bethesda North Pointe has over 70 people on its “interest list.” However, reservations are not yet being taken. Reservations will begin to be taken in the spring.
“How are reservation forms being sent out?”
“When we sent out our initial interest forms, we asked how those people wanted us to communicate with them,” Chan said. “Most said email, some said mail. We’ll send out notices (via email or mail) to give you an opportunity to know which date we’ll begin taking reservations. There will probably be at least a two-week advance notice so people can have time to call and ask questions before a reservation date is made.”
Reservations will be accommodated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Lakes Area Review by Brett Blocker, Editor