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Senior housing project pitched

$10 million, 140-unit plan emerges

The Journal Gazette

A senior citizen residential project figures to address the growing population of older residents in Fort Wayne.

The Villages on Coldwater will feature 140 units for residents 55 and older looking either to rent or purchase a house.

The single-story homes are one- and two-bedrooms with attached garages along the west side of the 8600 to 8800 blocks of Coldwater Road and on the south side of East Wallen Road, according to developer John Bellio.

He discussed the at least $10 million complex before the Fort Wayne Plan Commission on Monday.

Bellio is a broker/owner with Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber. In 2004, he originally planned Coldwater Villages to be a mixed-used development with retail and professional offices. As market conditions shifted, however, Bellio, said he decided to switch gears and build residences for older adults.

Besides approving the project, the plan commission will consider rezoning the property from single-family residential, professional offices, personal services, limited retail and commercial to planned-residential. The rezoning is subject to final approval from the City Council.“It just made sense to do this,” Bellio said. “The retail development would have worked, but when we started looking at the neighborhood we knew this was a better fit. That’s why we didn’t have anyone speaking out against it. It will be a quiet place.”

U.S. census figures show that 12.5 percent of the residents in Allen County are age 65 or older. The number will continue to climb with the area’s population of baby boomers, Bellio said.

Senior residences in Allen County have mushroomed over the last four years as dozens of developers are racing to meet a need they say is on the horizon.

Rent at the Villages on Coldwater may be $1,100 a month, but home prices have not been established.

A clubhouse with ongoing activities, walking paths and other amenities are planned for the project.

“There’s about 12 acres of land that we’ll leave as it is,” Bellio said. He said that will help create a park-like environment.

Construction could begin in late summer on the first phase of the complex.

The plan commission will vote on the project next Monday at Citizens Square.