Willow Ridge West senior living project gets excise tax abatement from Shawnee city council

A rendering of the proposed Calamar Willow Ridge senior living facility.
A rendering of the proposed Calamar Willow Ridge senior living facility.

By Jerry LaMartina

The Shawnee City Council approved the final plat and an excise tax abatement for Willow Ridge West, a subdivision of the Calamar Willow Ridge project in the 7200 block of Silverheel Street.

The council approved the final plat as part of its consent agenda and unanimously approved the excise tax abatement as part of its public items for consideration at its Monday night meeting. The council had approved rezoning and a preliminary development plan for the proposed $15 million, 132-unit senior independent living housing development at its Oct. 23 meeting.

The estimated excise tax for the development is nearly $83,900, according to the Planning Commission’s Nov. 6 meeting minutes.

The developer, Calamar Enterprises, proposes to build a 150,282-square-foot, three-story building on a 6.93-acre lot, with roughly 1.6 additional acres for storm water detention and another 2.6-acre undeveloped lot that the developer expects will be rezoned and developed with an office or commercial use at some time in the future.

The independent living, age-restricted senior apartment building would include a mix of market-rate units: one-bedroom, two bedrooms with one bathroom, and two-bedrooms with one and a half bathrooms. Rents would range from about $950 to about $1,250.

The units would range from 638 square feet to 889 square feet. Each unit would have appliances, including a washer and dryer; a kitchen pantry; big closets; individually controlled HVAC systems; and a personal patio or balcony.

The company expects to start construction soon, after obtaining all necessary approvals, and complete the project by late 2018.

At its Oct. 2 meeting, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the council approve the rezoning request and the preliminary development plan for the project. According to the meeting’s minutes, the property had been identified since 2011 as a potential location for multifamily development, despite that the city’s land-use guide, part of its comprehensive plan, had categorized it as appropriate for office and commercial uses.

Earlier versions of the land-use guide had said the site was appropriate for high-density residential use.

The city recently revised its comprehensive plan to increase allowed density for senior living facilities. It defines medium-density residential as 5.01 to 10 dwelling units per acre. A senior living facility may have a density as high as 21.78 dwelling units per acre. As proposed, Calamar Willow Ridge would have 17.5 dwelling units per acre.

“This location provides a good transition between K-7 Highway and the less dense multi-family residential uses within the Willow Ridge subdivision to the east,” according to the meeting’s minutes.

Calamar is a real estate company with construction, development, property management and finance and investment divisions for commercial and large-scale residential properties in the Northeast and Midwest. The company is based in Wheatfield, N.Y., and has offices in Omaha; Boston; Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario; and Toronto.