Number of local senior living facilities could grow in years ahead
Two new proposals in early stages of review

By Dave Fidlin - Special to the Enterprise

Feb. 22, 2018

OCONOMOWOC — Senior living facilities geared specifically toward persons ages 55 and up are sprinkled throughout Oconomowoc. Several new proposals on the horizon mean the number of available units could skyrocket in the years ahead.

City officials are in the early stages of reviewing two new senior living developments in different sections of the community.

Neumann Developments, in conjunction with Senior Housing Partners, is proposing a housing complex on a 22acre site recently annexed from the Town of Oconomowoc at N55-W36909 Lisbon Road.

Elsewhere in the city, a dormant property that once housed a YMCA at 1101 Silver Lake St. could be transitioned into another senior living development. Sierra Land Holdings, which acquired the property, is working with Matter Senior Living in studying the feasibility of such a project.

If the plans proposed by Senior Housing Partners and Matter Senior Living proceed, they will be in good company. Oconomowoc already has a number of senior living facilities dotting the landscape.

The list of established venues includes Azura Memory Care of Oconomowoc, 540 E. Forest St.; Shorehaven, 1305 W. Wisconsin Ave.; The View at Pine Ridge, 1010 Pine Ridge Drive; and Wilkinson Woods, 999 Summit Ave.

Representatives from at least one of the properties, Shorehaven, have gone on record and weighed in on the plans circling through city channels.

“Oconomowoc’s existing service industries need to maintain their high standard of care,” Dale Dahlke, chief operating officer with Shorehaven, said in an email statement provided to the Enterprise. “The current labor market is a concern for all of us.”

While no official decisions have been made, recent comments at Common Council meetings have indicated there is support for the projects — at least on the surface.

Speaking to the Sierra Land Holdings-Matter Senior Living project at a council meeting Tuesday, Mayor Dave Nold said the project “provides a service the community needs.”

Conceptually, the two new projects on the table have different plans in this early phase of planning.

Senior Housing Partners has submitted a conceptual plan calling for 120 independent units, 20 assisted living units and 18 memory care units.

In an interview with the Enterprise, Lisa Albain, a project developer with Senior Housing Partners, said the mix of units — custom tailored to the Oconomowoc property — have been proposed after reviewing the needs of the market. “We found that there’s been a strong demand for congregational senior living (in Oconomowoc),” Albain said. “This gives residents an opportunity to age in place. We want to be able to provide that next stay for them.”

Matter Senior Living’s plans in the city are still being fleshed out. The company is in the midst of a so-called due diligence phase to determine if the former YMCA site will work with a proposal that could include 64 units, of which 24 would be designated for residential care. While no firm decision is expected in the immediate future on Matter Senior Living’s proposal, city officials could act on Senior Housing Partners’ proposal for the annexed land this spring.

City Planner and Zoning Administrator Jason Gallo said two public hearings on the proposal are slated next month. The Plan Commission will take comments March 14, and the Common Council will follow suit March 20.