Nursing home gets OK for smaller building

Wilmington-based Liberty Healthcare Properties of North Carolina will now be able to shrink the size of a portion of its proposed Matthews nursing home project by about 16,000 square feet.

Matthews commissioners approved new plans for the skilled nursing facility – the project’s first phase – from a two-story building to one story and a reduction in square feet from about 105,000 to 89,000. Officials say the recession has prompted the switch to a smaller facility.

Commissioners voted in August 2010 to rezone about 48.39 acres off Moore Road to accommodate a “continuing care retirement community” containing up to 300 independence living units, up to 75 assisted units, a skilled nursing facility with a maximum of 169 beds and up to 60,000 square feet of office space. The new plan shows the skilled care facility with a larger footprint but less space and changes in parking, landscaping, sidewalks and internal driveway and traffic circle placement. Moore Road is south of the intersection with Matthews-Mint Hill Road near the intersection of Matthews-Mint Hill Road and Independence Boulevard.

“The overall cost of the project and construction and economic conditions have certainly played a role in the need for our development plans to evolve,” Paul Babinski, vice president of operations for the company previously said. The project, however, is expected to remain in the $13,879,000 to $15,961,000, price range, he said.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2012 and the skilled nursing and rehabilitation center could open a year later, Babinski said.

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