$300M senior living section approved for Magnolia Green

A rendering of one of the residential buildings in the senior living section.

A massive residential development in Chesterfield County is entering 2019 with an approval for one of its biggest projects to date.

Magnolia Green developer iStar Financial received zoning approval last month for the Summit at Magnolia Green, a $300 million senior living community to consist of nearly 1,500 residential units.

The section would fill a 106-acre site along Hull Street Road northeast of Beaver Bridge Road and Grange Hall Elementary School. The land is about a mile west of Magnolia Green Parkway and developed areas of the larger Magnolia Green development, a sprawling community spanning 1,900 acres.

The Summit at Magnolia Green would consist of 1,130 independent living units and a 192-bed assisted living facility with skilled nursing and memory care, as well as associated personal care, therapeutic care and convenience commercial uses. The new units would bring Magnolia Green’s overall density to 6,016 homes, 2,576 of those multifamily units.

The land was zoned in 1991 for primarily commercial uses, but changing demographics and market demands, as well as the site’s proximity – but lack of direct access to – a planned extension of Powhite Parkway, prompted the change in plan, said Tom Page, iStar vice president and Magnolia Green general manager.

The section would be designed around a “village” or “town” theme.

Page said iStar spent $300,000 the first quarter of last year on test marketing for the project, which is modeled after iStar’s recently opened Summit Vista in Utah. That marketing showed local interest in the project, with more than 1,000 people signed up on the project’s “interested” list and 45 of those requesting first opportunity at units, Page said.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the response we got from the test marketing that we did,” Page said.

While in the conceptual stage, the section would be designed around a “village” or “town” theme, with 35 percent reserved for open space and at least 20,000 square feet of space dedicated for recreational uses. Nearly one-third of building exteriors would feature brick or stone facades, and the section would include underground parking for at least 30 percent of spaces for the independent-living homes.

Deposit model is likely

Page said sizes and pricing for the units have yet to be determined, but added the homes would involve a deposit model in which residents pay a deposit and are guaranteed to get 90 percent of that back when they move voluntarily or pass away, in which case the deposit would go to their estate.

“What that allows us to do is keep the monthly fees down,” Page said, estimating those fees at between $2,000 to $2,500 a month.

The first phase will include construction of a clubhouse.

Page said a builder has yet to be determined for the project. IStar also is in the process of searching for equity partners to help cover about $100 million needed for the first phase, which would involve construction of a clubhouse and two 120-unit residential buildings.

Page said iStar is in talks with several parties and hopes to have a single equity partner lined up by summer to cover that cost, which he said likely would be split between equity and debt.

The senior living section adds to a variety of residential types at Magnolia Green, which includes detached single-family homes, an age-restricted section, attached townhomes, and a forthcoming apartment complex developed and built by Schell Brothers. Page said construction on the 250-unit complex is set to start in the first quarter.

Construction is underway on a tennis facility set to open in late spring or early summer, adding to $11 million in amenities constructed in recent years, including an aquatic center and a clubhouse for Magnolia Green Golf Club.

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