Prairie Homestead to update its independent living units

A Wichita senior living facility plans to raze its existing independent living units and build new, according to a company official and city documents.

Prairie Homestead hopes to begin demolishing six of its 12 independent living complexes – which feature nine apartment units each – this spring, administrator Diane Hull said Monday. The facility is at 1605 May St., which is near Meridian and Southwest Boulevard.

The facility is scheduled to request a letter of intent for revenue bond financing through the city at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. The cost of the project is expected to be up to $6.5 million, Hull said, with the bond amount not to exceed $4 million.

“We hope to begin demolition in April or May,” Hull said. “These buildings went up back in the mid-1960s, and were built for 40 years of use. Obviously, we’ve gotten our 40 years out of them.

“They’re obsolete now. We need something more current with what seniors are wanting in an apartment – they want a washer and dryer and things that we don’t have at this point.”

Hull said Prairie Homestead plans to rebuild six buildings – which will feature four apartment units each – on the same footprint of the old buildings. The remaining six independent living buildings will come down during a later phase of the project, Hull said, before the final six new buildings go up.

A commons facility will also be razed and replaced. Including its assisted living complex – which was built in 2008 – Prairie Homestead is home to about 120 residents, Hull said. A small number of residents will be required to move due to the renovations, Hull added.

The nonprofit is requesting City Council approval of a letter of intent that would run through 2017, according to city documents.

Bryan Horwath: 316-269-6708, @bryan_horwath