June 16, 2008

Duke Health Heading to Hillsborough

By Ginny Hoyle, The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.

Jun. 16--HILLSBOROUGH -- A Duke University outpost soon will arise between Latta and Gwenn roads in Hillsborough.

The university's health care system plans to design and operate a 10,000-square-foot Duke Center for Living on the future $70-million continued care retirement community campus called Corbinton Commons.

The health care center will include an on-site primary care clinic; a full-time medical director; home health and hospice services; and rehabilitation and pharmacy services.

The facility, on a 40 acre site on the south side of U.S. 70 Bypass, also will host educational health seminars and retirement programs.

"The Duke University Health System relationship is a 'Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval' for our community and is in fact the only such comprehensive Duke involvement in any senior living community other than the D&F-related facilities in the market," said Bob Lippard, real-estate management company Drucker & Falk's director of senior living.

"Our prospective residents realize that Duke doesn't engage in this in-depth relationship with just any community or developer and that Duke services provided on the campus are an immeasurable value added proposition that increases the quality of life for residents of the community."

Corbinton Commons marks Drucker & Falk's third endeavor of this kind with Duke's health system -- the original partnership model was established at Galloway Ridge in Fearrington Village.

The CCRC -- a full-service community offering a long-term contract that provides for a continuum of care, including retirement, assisted living and nursing services -- will be made up of 227 independent living apartments, or 187 apartments, 22 cottages and 18 duplexes.

Residential health care services will include 53 health care beds -- 20 of which will be for assisted living, 21 for skilled nursing and 12 for memory care.

Hillsborough's Town Board gave the green light last month to a revised plan for the CCRC and approved a contribution agreement that will bring in more than $1 million for the town over the next 10 years.

The decision to grant a special-use permit for the project came after prolonged debate over "revenue neutrality."

The developer of Corbinton Commons -- Ellis Coleman of EYC Companies -- originally had secured a special-use permit for a senior community that includes a condominium project, a community center and an assisted living facility. But in February, the developer told the board it would like to amend the permit to include a Continuing Care Retirement Community.

The original terms for the development were approved in 2006 after the town settled a lawsuit with developers.

The now-approved contribution agreement will add up to just more than $1 million for local charities, a fire department and the town's general fund over a 10-year period.

The time line of contributions is a response to the planning board's request for the town to address the "revenue neutrality" of the project since it will be within city limits and would operate as a nonprofit, which could make it exempt from certain real property and personal property taxes.

Residential pricing for Corbinton Commons will be based on a 90-percent refundable entrance fee, which is anticipated to range from $272,000 for the smallest apartment up to $603,000 for the cottages, according to Drucker & Falk.

The average entrance fee cost is projected at around $410,000.

Construction -- which will occur in a single phase -- is scheduled to take place in late 2010, and be completed within 18 months, or late spring of 2012.


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Copyright (c) 2008, The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.

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