Senior Housing

A view from the rear of the Oakmont Senior Living apartments shows where trees would be atop an earthen berm.

Construction of new senior apartments on North Main Street appears to be moving forward despite changes wrought by the COVID-19 crisis.

Forward Development Group obtained a building permit for the project this month, and on April 13, the Common Council approved an agreement to allow landscaping on adjacent city property.

The permit, which estimates the cost of the project at $11.8 million, allows building to commence at the North Main Street location. The agreement was a requirement of the plan the city approved a year ago, which includes planting quick-growing evergreen trees to block the view from the nearby neighborhood. A previous version of the plan had included a walking path, as well, but that was removed.

Oakmont Senior Living would encompass 100 age-restricted apartments for independent living, as well as 62 parking stalls according to documents presented to the Plan Commission on the project last year.

The location across from Badger Ridge Middle School houses a farmhouse and outbuildings, but is located near an area that has seen traffic headaches in recent years.

However, the council voted to approve the complex last year on the recommendation of city staff, because the homes were thought to be a lower-intensity use option than some other buildings that could go in the spot. The city had approved a related plan in October 2017 that included a memory care facility.

Neighbors in the adjacent single-family neighborhood had also raised concerns over privacy, as the second floor of the building is on a hill and overlooks the homes next door. The council ultimately took recommendations from the Plan Commission to use landscaping to help block that view.

Renee Hickman can be contacted at renee.hickman@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @ReneeNHickman