ITHACA, N.Y. — A senior living facility for the town of Ithaca is looking to receive final approval on its expansion.

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Brookdale Senior Living is looking to obtain final site plan approvals for its 32-unit Clare Bridge Crossings expansion at 101 Bundy Drive on West Hill.

Brookdale is planning to start construction of the one-story 23,200 SF addition this October, with the first tenants moving in around October 2016.

There’s no mention of job creation in the application, but there is a letter of opposition from a Cornell professor concerned that new construction will be detrimental to current residents.

“We understand that there is a need for assisted living rooms in teh Ithaca area … we wonder, however, whether the kind of disruption and decrease in quality of life for this population of elderly people is warranted by the gains,” says a letter from Cornell plant science professor Jeff Doyle. “Is a new building really necessary?”

Noted previously here back in May, the Brookdale site is a PDZ that consists of two facilities at the moment – Sterling House is a 48-unit assisted living facility, while Claire Bridge Cottage is a 32-unit facility specializing in memory care (Alzheimer’s and dementia).

The new building, “Clare Bridge Crossings”, is designed to bridge the gap between the two – patients who might be in early stages of illness and experiencing mild symptoms, but otherwise still capable of some degree of personal independence. The whole complex is in the process of being renamed to Brookdale of Ithaca.

The new building will be tucked between the other two structures, so it won’t be visible from the street.

Along with the new building, there will be updates to parking, landscaping stormwater facilities, and the addition of a couple of courtyards between the buildings.

The architect is PDC Midwest, a Wisconsin firm that specializes in memory care facilities.

Here are some renderings from town of Ithaca planning documents:

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Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.