Schowalter Villa, 200 W. Cedar in Hesston, is planning to break ground this fall on a new independent living project called Prairie Lakes.
The 60-acre project will eventually include 86 duplexes, or 172 homes, essentially doubling the total number of non-federally subsidized independent living units on the campus, said Tyson Miller, director of independent living at Schowalter Villa and project manager.
To begin construction, Miller said the company must have at least eight commitments from interested residents. He aims to have those in place by the end of October.
The units will start at a price point in the mid-$200,000s and go up to about $294,000 for the largest floor plan, Miller said. Residents, who must be at least 62 years old, must sign an occupancy agreement with Schowalter and pay a monthly service fee.
When residents leave the property, a pre-determined percentage of the original cost will be refunded back to the residents, based on the number of years they lived there, Miller said.
Prairie Lakes’ four floor plans will range from 1,440 square feet to 1,860 square feet. Each plan includes a two-car garage, two bathrooms, a safe room in the master closet and a covered patio.
They will also be designed to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act with things like sloping walkways and wider doors, Miller said.
“We try to promote aging in place as long as possible,” he said.
The number of phases of development will depend on interest shown for the units, Miller said, who said the project is part of Schowalter Villa’s long-term growth strategy over the next 20 years. If the needs of the community change, it will look at altering styles of housing or adding four-plexes, he said.
The 60 acres have been owned by Schowalter for a number of years and are currently being farmed, Miller said.
Among all of Schowalter Villa’s facilities – independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing – there are about 400 residents, Miller said.
Schowalter Villa is a part of Bluestem Communities, which was created in 2012 when Schowalter merged with Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton. According to Bluestem Communities’ annual report, the project architect is PKHLS Architecture, which has offices in Newton and El Dorado. Construction will be handled by Preferred Builders of Hesston.
For more information, call Miller at 620-327-3406 or visit www.prairielakesks.org.