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Ground broken for Gulf Coast Village expansion

By Staff | Sep 15, 2015

By the spring of 2017, Gulf Coast Village will have an all-new facility to help meet the growing need for assisted living and senior housing in the city.

Ground was broken Monday for Palmview, the new state-of-the-art, $37 million, 130,980-square-foot assisted living and memory care center at the 36-acre Gulf Coast Village, which opened in 1989.

“This is the start of many more things to come here at our campus. We have a vision to care for more than 2,000 people over the next 10 years, and with the introduction of Palmview, it gives us the opportunity to meet that goal,” said Kevin Ahmadi, executive director of Gulf Coast Village and regional director of Volunteers of America, which owns the facility.

Mike King, president of Volunteers of America, said his group’s vision is to help the most vulnerable, and not necessarily the oldest and frailest.

“If you’re a caregiver for a spouse with Alzheimer’s, you’re vulnerable. If you need to find a place for your mother at the most precious time of her life, you’re vulnerable,” King said. “You here are redefining the meaning of vulnerable.”

Also speaking at the event were Tom Turnbull, CEO at Volunteers of America, Scott Kashman, CEO at Cape Coral Hospital and Lenny Nesta, city council member in District 3, who joked about the weather up north being in the ’60s.

“We are lucky that Gulf Coast Village is in our community. It’s one of our largest employers, as well as nationally recognized providers of service for living options of aging adults,” Nesta said. “As the city grows and thrives, Gulf Coast Village is preparing for the future. This building is an example of Gulf Coast preparing for the future.”

After the ceremonial ground-turning, everyone went to the auditorium for refreshments and to look at renderings and blueprints of the future Palmview facility.

“This allows us to meet the growing demand in the assisted living market, but also reposition our skilled nursing at a 26-year-old product to meet tomorrow’s residents’ needs,” Ahmadi said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity. All the wonderful people have come to celebrate. We’re a community that continues to open its doors to everyone in Cape Coral and find solutions for the senior market.”

The start of construction marks the first of a three-phase health care redevelopment project at the continuing care retirement community.

When completed, the expansion will add 34 new assisted living and 24 memory support residences. The three-phase plan includes a $5.6 million renovation of the existing building with the addition of 20 nursing suites and the conversion of existing semi-private nursing suites to private suites with shared baths, providing a total of 79 private suites.

Currently, Gulf Coast Center employs 420 people and offers 157 independent living, 51 assisted living, 24 memory support beds and 85 skilled nursing beds.

Construction began in August and Palmview is scheduled to be open in March 2017.