In-depth look: Pine Bush Senior Living

GUILDERLAND — Developer Tim Cassidy of Senior Consulting LLC has received approval for Pine Bush Senior Living, to be built at 22-24 New Karner Road, near Route 20. After receiving approval, he went back to the town with some amendments to the site plan that were approved four or five months ago, he said.

Cassidy said this week that the facility’s 96 independent-living units will be in a separate building from its assisted-living and memory-care units and that the independent-living portion will open first.

The plan is to break ground on the independent-living lot later this year, he hopes in the fall, he said. “Then six to nine months later, we plan on breaking ground on the assisted living and memory care,” he said, adding, “That allows us to provide the full aging-in-place continuum.”  

Living in the independent-living facility will not require the kind of entry fee that is charged at many continuing-care retirement communities, or CCRCs, he said, of $100,000 or more.

The way it will work, he said, is that residents will pay a one-time community fee of $3,500, and will then be responsible for monthly rent, which he estimated would start at $2,900.

Assisted living and memory care will have similar community fees, with higher rents based on the level of care, he said.

By industry standards, Cassidy said, Pine Bush Senior Living will be “the first independent-living rental community that isn’t a CCRC in our area.”

As examples of CCRCs in the area, he cited the Beverwyck and Avila.

The industry standard, he said, defines “independent living” as access to all daily meals, with at least one meal included, with housekeeping and laundry factored in as part of the rent.

At Pine Bush Senior Living, three meals a day will be available, and two meals will be included in the rent.

When those amenities are not included, Cassidy said, a facility should be called “senior housing” and not “independent senior living.” But there is no license involved, and developers tend to call their age-restricted apartments “independent senior living,” he said.

Town Planner Kenneth Kovalchik said, “Each developer is going to have different amenities that they provide. Maybe in one they have washer-dryers in the units, whereas another offers housekeeping services.

“As part of the senior-living use, they have to provide some sort of community amenity. It may be an exercise room, where an instructor comes in and teaches classes. In another, it may be a communal kitchen where they offer two meals a day. I think it’s going to be project-to-project. We would still call all of those independent senior living.”

Pine Bush Senior Living is not a nursing home, said Cassidy, but will provide enhanced assisted living, for residents whose needs go beyond those of typical assisted living. “So the overwhelming majority of residents can still have options through the continuum of care,” he said. 

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