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Brook Breaking Ground

By: Benjamin J. Gohs, Associate Editor
bgohs@boynegazette.com
(231) 222-2119

The Boyne City Commission unanimously approved Brook Retirement Community’s zoning request during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22.  The 10-acre parcel of land located is slated for construction of a 42-unit retirement facility to begin sometime this spring.[private]

“This is to rezone … 701 Vogel St. from rural estate district to multi-family residential district,” said Boyne City Planner Scott McPherson.  A mix between assisted and independent living arrangements, Brook Retirement Community would offer numerous amenities to its residents including billiard rooms, beauty parlors and theater rooms. They offer smaller one-bedroom, two-bedroom and studio apartments.

Boyne City Mayor Chuck Vondra said he is satisfied with Brook developers’ plan.  “We’ve heard no negative feedback,” he said. “The one thing that stuck out is, when the project is started, to make sure it’s finished.”  Vondra added, “As long as that happens, we’re satisfied with that.”  The Brook’s project attorney Bill Carey said, while both 24-month and 30-month construction completion time-lines have been mentioned, his clients are comfortable with either number.

“The commission can establish time-lines to ensure that the project is competed in a timely manner and they can also stipulate reversion if it’s not completed or it ceases to exist, revert back to the original zoning,” McPherson said.

Carey said Boyne City’s Brook should be completed within a year barring unforeseen incidents.  Boyne City Commissioner Ron Grunch said he has had several constituents ask about the availability of living quarters for retired veterans.  “How do you qualify? We’ve got a lot of veterans in this community and a lot of people that might be eligible,” Grunch said.

Carey said Brook’s work with the Veterans Affairs Administration has been “outstanding.”

“Some of the other communities that we are operating in have large numbers of veterans,” Carey said. “We were actually the pilot program for the State of Michigan and the Veterans Administration for assisted living.”

Brook currently has five locations in Gladwin, Roscommon, Houghton Lake, Cheboygan and West Branch. They are currently building a facility in Grayling.

Each building has four wings. The two rear wings will be independent living units and the front two wings will be for the assisted living units.

There will also be a small number of garages.

Prices vary depending on a few things, but a one-bedroom apartment costs $1,398; a two-bedroom apartment costs $1,798 and a studio apartment costs $2,598.  Friedriechsen said many assisted living facilities charge ala carte for services.

Once completed, the project could employ as many as 25 part-time and full-time housekeepers, cooks, nurses and maintenance personnel.[/private]

This approved rezone request is site specific which means if Brook decided not to go with the Vogel street property they would have to come back with a new application for the new parcel. However, there is no indication that that is an issue.

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