An Eden Prairie office building said to be “underutilized” in the current soft market for office space would be transformed into an assisted-living facility for seniors under a plan endorsed Monday, May 22, by the city’s planning commission.
Recommended unanimously for approval was a two-phase project called Baker Road Assisted Living, where an office building exists at 6216 Baker Road. It’s located across Baker Road from the Life Time Fitness Crosstown facility and immediately south of Crosstown Highway 62 on EP’s northern boundary.
Why it matters: The Baker Road project would add to Eden Prairie’s complement of senior care facilities. Eden Prairie and Minnesota in general have aging populations and a growing demand for senior care even as nursing homes and assisted-living facilities face a severe need for more caregiving staff.
Behind the project is Midwest Residential, which operates multiple properties in Minnesota that provide care for aging adults, including those with physical and mental challenges. The goal is to provide residents with a choice between communal living and more private assisted care, according to the project’s architect.
The applicant is proposing a two-phase project: A first phase involves renovating an existing, two-story, 16,309-square-foot office building into 24 assisted-living units with 31 beds. A second phase for later is a 52,938-square-foot, four-story addition to the building that would provide another 81 units with 81 beds.
The project requires rezoning the property from “office” to “medium high density residential.”
Eric Reiners, a principal with the firm SRa, presented the project to planning commissioners Monday. He said the office building is underutilized and makes sense as a care facility because the property is well-wooded and screened well from townhomes to the south and industrial buildings to the west. “It will be scantly visibly to our neighbors,” Reiners said.
An existing office building between the proposed project and Baker Road would remain; its access serves both properties.
Most of the renovation to the existing, westernmost office building would be interior work. Its outside design would remain and be carried over to the building expansion.
“It will be a good addition to the city,” said Commissioner John Kirk, who noted the site’s wooded, secluded location. “It’s kind of a unique spot. So, I like it.”
The project now advances to the Eden Prairie City Council for review.
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