Two former competitors are teaming up to develop a new senior health care center near the northwest corner of 13th and Greenwich Road.
Regent Park Senior Health Care will be built by Legend Senior Living, owned by Timothy Buchanan, and Foundation Properties, owned by Brian Warren and Philip Brooks.
Regent Park will have 75 assisted-living and memory-care apartments adjacent to a 120-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility. It's designed to offer a continuum of care in conjunction with the Regent, a Legend Senior Living independent living property near 21st and Webb.
It will be built at Berkeley Square, just east of the Hartman Oil building and south of the Residences at the Waterfront.
"We're really excited to be in Berkeley Square," Buchanan said. "We're going to see some good growth in the next five to 10 years" in that part of Wichita.
Buchanan and Warren said they expect to close on the property, which is being developed by Laham Development and Devlin Enterprises, and break ground in the next 60 to 90 days.
Construction will take about a year, they said, with an opening expected in the third quarter of 2011.
WDM Architects designed the project; it also was the architect for the Regent and for the Legend at Capital Ridge, an assisted living facility opening soon in Topeka. Buchanan said the Regent Park assisted living building will mirror the Topeka project.
The skilled nursing facility will be the first to be built in east Wichita in 14 years, Buchanan and Warren said, and will reflect the changes the industry has undergone.
All rooms will be private, they'll be clustered in "neighborhoods" around bistro kitchens that will have on-demand meals, and they will include flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi — features not traditionally associated with nursing homes.
A "town center" will connect neighborhoods to each other and to the rehabilitation center.
Warren said, "A good percentage of our admissions are going to be short term" — people in need of rehabilitation after a knee or hip replacement, for example.
Buchanan has been in senior living since the early 1990s, when he co-founded Sterling House Corp. His Legend Senior Living owns and operates assisted living and retirement residences in Kansas, Oklahoma and Florida, including Park West Plaza in Wichita.
Warren purchased his first nursing facility in 1988. He and Brooks own assisted living residences and nursing homes in Nebraska and Kansas, including Vintage Place in El Dorado and in Derby.
Buchanan and Warren have considered themselves friendly competitors until now. They opened competing assisting living facilities in Derby the same weekend in the early 1990s, they said.
Neither would put a price tag on the Regent Park project. Both said they were confident about moving ahead in turbulent economic times.
"We have a great relationship with some national health care lenders," Buchanan said, noting that Legend Senior Living has opened five projects in the past year and will open the Topeka project in October.
They said the project will add about 135 jobs, 55 for the assisted living facility and 80-plus for the nursing facility.