Last week, Crystal Spring developers, National Lutheran Communities and Services (NLCS), held a series of informational sessions for prospective buyers. This was the first public outreach since the City rejected their July 25 filings of development plans for the Crystal Spring and Mas Que Farm properties. The City sent back the plans on August 11 requesting major revisions and citing numerous and substantial “deficiencies in the applications [that] must be corrected before the Department is able to send them [for] agency review.” This action was a complete vindication for our campaign as we had raised many of the same issues concerning these July 25 filings. Click here to read our full set of comments on the July 25 filing, as well as the comments from the City.
You should note that in addition to the 383 houses and apartments planned for seniors in a sprawling complex, the owner of the properties proposed a subdivision to allow her to build at least 200 homes without any age restrictions. Combined, the development would destroy 39.5 acres of forest and replant only 16.45 acres. Traffic, school overcrowding, and stormwater pollution would all increase.
Since the plans were rejected, we had hoped NLCS would go back to the drawing board to finally address the many issues with their plans. Despite our repeated attempts over the last several months to set up a small meeting with the leadership of NLCS to see if we can resolve the issues related to their development plan, they continue to refuse and instead persist with this seriously flawed proposal that ignores the concerns of both the community and city planning staff.
Reports from the meetings last week show that the planned senior community development is bigger than ever. However, NLCS did provide new information about the pricing structure for the units. It seems the prices have only gone up from original estimates and NLCS leadership said they will likely go up again if there are more delays.
As it stands now, every senior would pay an entry fee and a monthly service fee. For the smallest one-bedroom apartment (922 sq. ft.), the entry fee is $651,000 if the purchaser wanted 90% of their price back upon re-sale. For the largest unit, a 2,240 sq. ft. cottage, the entry fee is is $1,177,000 with a 90% refund upon re-sale. A 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,205 sq. ft. apartment would cost seniors $850,000 if they wanted 90% back. For the cheapest contract with a declining refund (where the refund declines each year until it eventually reaches 0 after three years), the entry fees range from $326,000 – $589,000.
Monthly fees are geared to the size of a unit and range from $3,136 for one person in the smallest unit to $6,632 for the first person in a cottage and increase about $1000 a month for the second person. These prices and monthly fees do not include health care. If a buyer chooses a “Life Care” contract, it is much more expensive. If they do not have a Life Care contract and have to move from an independent living unit to, say, the skilled nursing section, then their monthly fees will go up accordingly.
NLCS leadership told attendees at the marketing meetings they plan to resubmit to the City sometime in the next few weeks and see no issues gaining approval. The City’s rejection of this plan was a victory, but only a temporary one. We must continue to pursue every opportunity to maintain pressure on the city staff, the mayor and elected officials. More importantly, we must continue to ensure this issue is at the forefront of every discussion with the candidates vying to fill seats for mayor and aldermen on November 7th. Click here to see where the candidates stand on Crystal Spring.
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