Published on September 20th, 2017 | by UC&D Magazine0
Legacy Village at Sugar House sets an impressive precedent in senior living with its high-end finishes and luxury units
In 2017, Salt Lake City has seen the future of senior housing — and it is Legacy Village at Sugar House. Located just minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, the near $55 million, 10-level, mixed-use high rise marks a turn toward forthcoming trends in senior living.
Completed in May, Legacy Village is a state-of-the-art mixed-use facility featuring three levels of independent living, three levels of assisted living combined with memory care services, four levels of parking, in addition to five outdoor plazas, ground level retail, two fitness centers, a theater room, salon, dining rooms, a library and much more. There are 286 luxury residential units.
“Typically, assisted living facilities are two-story, sprawling, wood-framed projects due to building code restrictions and economics,” said Paul Nielsen, associate architect, at Beecher Walker Architects of Salt Lake, which handled the project’s design. “As Utah’s population continues to grow at a fast pace and areas become more dense, large projects like this one may become more viable as demand grows for families in denser areas wanting a place nearby to care for their aging loved ones.”
Bradley P. Miles, project manager for Western States, the developers of the project, along with the Colmena Group and Woodbury Corp., also pointed to the high- rise aspect as being something unique to the area for this type of development.
“This is a brand new concept for the state of Utah and is mirrored after projects in the Pacific Northwest in Oregon and Washington, and also projects on the East Coast,” Miles said. “This does not have any feel of a health care facility. We worked really hard with the designers to create a classic design that is appropriate for seniors that will call it home.”
Situated in the heart of Sugar House, Legacy Village takes advantage of its prime location. Not only are there plenty of nearby shops, restaurants, parks and public transportation, the area is extremely bike- and pedestrian-friendly — an important factor for seniors who have given up driving.
“(This) is one of the most desirable areas to live in the Intermountain area,” said Jim Allison, vice president for Big-D Construction Corp. of Salt Lake, which handled construction for the project. “The structure is tall enough to take advantage of the beautiful views to the east, overlooking Sugar House Park and the Wasatch Mountains, as well as the cityscapes to the north, south and west — not to mention the beautiful sunsets that Salt Lake City has to offer.”
The project got its origins in 2010, when the Colmena Group, Woodbury Corporation and Dee’s Inc. formed a joint venture to redevelop the Sugar House Shopping Center. The first phase involved the Wilmington Gardens project, which includes mixed-use apartments, office, retail and town home building located nearby. The second phase became Legacy Village, but according to Aabir Malik, a developer with the Colmena Group, they were initially unsure what
direction to take with that segment of the project.
“During construction of Wilmington Gardens, we spent a year researching what the best use would be for the second phase of development,” Malik said. “We knew that it would be a mixed-use building with retail on the ground floor … but we were undecided about the use on the top floors. After more due diligence, we felt there was a big shortage of senior housing in the area. There were plenty of new offices, apartments and retail to meet the needs of the younger demographic but no new senior housing to meet the demand for the aging population along the east bench.”
Nielsen said one of the project’s unique challenges was that the units do not all stack vertically – which would typically allow mechanical, plumbing and electrical chases to align, serving all the units.
“For this project, levels five and six stack, and then levels nine and 10 stack, but none of the levels stack all of the way up,” he said. “So the units on most levels are different and do not stack, creating a variety of coordination and routing issues that needed to be addressed.”
Miles said a lot of coordination was required between Big-D and retailers to the south of the building, so that construction wouldn’t block their deliveries.
“Also, due to the site being small and the infill nature of the site, it was necessary for Big-D to construct their crane in the middle of the building while the concrete structure was being built,” Miles said. “When the building was topped out, the crane was plucked out and the concrete was backfilled in.”
Miles said one of the main things that is changing in the assisted living facility industry is the demand for more options and choices. That variety is reflected in Legacy Village’s floorplans – of which residents have 20 different ones to choose from.
“Although the building is large,” Miles said, “we have designed it in a way that is convenient and easy for the residents to access all of the necessary areas with relative ease. …
“I think it’s really incredible to provide a place like Legacy Village for these seniors to live,” Miles said. “These are seniors that have lived amazing lives and we want to help them continue to live an honorable life during this next phase.”