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Nashua Crossings planning new Alzheimer's wing

Union Leader Correspondent

March 17. 2013 10:16PM

NASHUA - Major expansion plans are being proposed for an assisted living facility on West Hollis Street, designed to accommodate individuals with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

"A 20-unit wing specifically for Alzheimer's patients is being planned at Nashua Crossings," said Matthew Taylor, deputy planning manager for the city. "It is a proposed one-story building addition."

On Thursday, the Nashua City Planning Board will review the plans for the nearly 15,000-square-foot addition at Nashua Crossings, which is owned and operated by Benchmark Senior Living of Wellesley, Mass.

"We really want to be able to serve seniors in this market, and throughout the whole process of aging," said Laurie Rodman, director of community marketing for Benchmark Senior Living. "By having a dedicated neighborhood for memory care really fills a need in this area."

Nashua Crossings is a nursing care facility that was built in 1999 on a 3½-acre parcel at 674 West Hollis St., which is about 42,400 square feet and consists of 64 assisted living units.

There is a residence located on the property that will be demolished to allow for 20 new Alzheimer's units, Taylor said. The Alzheimer's wing will be housed on the east side of the property.

"The plan also calls for a new section of sidewalk along West Hollis Street, a modified fire lane on the site, and new utility services, landscaping, lighting and drainage improvements," according to a staff report on file at Nashua City Hall.

Because the property is located within a residential zone district, Taylor said Benchmark Senior Living will be seeking a conditional use permit to allow the proposed expansion.

However, Taylor said last week that he had not yet received any concerns from neighbors.

According to the site plans, four additional parking spaces will be added to the facility, making a total of 40 parking spaces. The ordinance requires 84 spaces.

"The applicant has agreed to add spaces in the future if parking becomes a problem and it is deemed necessary by the Planning Board," Taylor states in his memo to city planners.

Taylor went on to say that a privacy fence will be added on the east side of the property, and that additional landscaping will be installed around the proposed addition.

Along with Nashua, Benchmark Senior Living also has facilities in Bedford, Concord and Salem, as well as multiple sites in nearby states.

According to its website, Benchmark Senior Living is "the largest provider of senior housing in the New England region," with a mission to help senior citizens maintain their independence through healthy living.

"We have added Alzheimer's wings in almost all of our communities," Rodman said on Sunday. "The amount of people being diagnosed with Alzheimer's continues to grow. The numbers are staggering across the country."

The 20 new units will likely house about 27 residents, Rodman said.

Nashua Crossings offers 24-hour care, apartment privacy, local transportation services, medication management and more.

It also provides short-stay assisted living for seniors who need to recover from recent hospitalizations, says the website.

Thursday's Nashua City Planning Board meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Health Nashua