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Published: Thursday, 6/18/2009

Perrysburg to weigh senior home

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A plan to develop a 50-acre continuing-care retirement community adjacent to Blessed John XXIII parish in Perrysburg is to come before the city planning commission June 25.

Franciscan Living Communities, an arm of the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, has submitted a proposal to make the area at Five Point Road east of State Rt. 25 a planned unit development where it will build a mix of independent and assisted living units, dementia care, a skilled nursing home, and affordable senior housing. It also is seeking rezoning of the ground for multifamily use.

Rick Ryan, president and chief executive officer of Franciscan Living Comunities, said St. Clare Commons, as the development will be known, will not spring up overnight. I think it will take a couple of years and it will be based on demand for the different levels of care, he said.

Plans call for first building assisted living units, including assisted living units for persons with early dementia, and the nursing home. Independent living units, including apartments, duplexes, and private residences, will be part of the second phase.

We re doing a lot of market research right now and trying to determine what the seniors in this area want, Mr. Ryan said. We want to design this based on their needs.

St. Clare Commons will be situated on land adjoining the 25-acre Blessed John property. Presently, the Toledo Catholic Diocese owns

28 acres that it intends to donate to the project, while the developer has an option to purchase 22 acres that was just annexed to Perrysburg.

Father Herb Weber, pastor of Blessed John XXIII, said the fledgling parish envisioned a senior community as part of its layout from the beginning. St. Clare Commons will be independent from the parish, he said, but connected in more ways than its proximity.

On one hand, the parish is not running the center. On the other hand, we will certainly avail ourselves to working with the residents, Father Weber said. We hope they would find our church to be a spiritual home for them, not just for liturgy, for Mass, but for other spiritual growth.

Ironically, the median age of parishoners at Blessed John, which was founded in 2005, is 31.8, he said.

Certainly they will enrich us and hopefully we will enrich them, he said.

Mr. Ryan said St. Clare Commons would be the first continuing care retirement community associated with a Catholic parish in this area. It could eventually become home to 160 to 190 residents in the nursing and assisted-living areas, 100 in the apartments, and 200 in the independent residences.

We would expect our residents to be involved in the parish and the parish involved in our community, he said. ...We think that would have a lot of appeal to seniors.

The city planning commission, which makes recommendations to City Council, is scheduled to hear St. Clare Commons zoning requests at 7 p.m. June 25 at the Perrysburg Municipal Building.



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