Church vote opens door for assisted living facility

By JoEllen Black/Richmond News

A 4.5-zacre of land planned as a memorial park will likely have a new purpose.

On Sunday, the congregation of Richmond United Christian Presbyterian Church approved the plan to have an assisted living facility built next to the church in lieu of a memorial park in honor of the late Charles Hamann, a longtime educator, coach and civic leader in Richmond.

The near-unanimous church vote allows the city of Richmond to sell the property to Clearpath Senior Holdings for construction of a senior assisted living facility. Richmond Parks Board purchased the land for $40,000 in November 2011 from United Christian Presbyterian with the stipulation of constructing a city park designated as Charles Hamann Memorial Park. Richmond City Administrator Ron Brohammer said he and members of Clearpath searched for suitable land since March without much luck. A Clearpath engineer saw the church and adjacent land and asked about its availability.

“He asked, ‘Would you sell it?’ ” Brohammer said. “We said no, it’s dedicated as a Charles Hamann Memorial Park. It was the most perfect spot. A match made in heaven. Approximation to the church is a bonus.”

In the agreement with the church, the city will pay United Christian Presbyterian Church $25,000 for the concession. The city also agreed to raze a small house at the entrance of the church at East Black Diamond, estimated to cost $8,000, according to Brohammer. In conjunction with the city, Clearpath will have a half-acre memorial garden and gazebo to be named for Charles Hamann or the Hamann family. A handicapped accessible sidewalk will connect the facility and church, paid  for by the city.

Plans include a 35,000 square-foot facility with 47 units to house around 50 residents. Floor plans show single-story one- to two-bedroom residences with emergency call systems and 24-hour access to staff. Most utilities along with amenities of meals, laundry and housekeeping services would be included in a monthly rental. The facility will also feature memory care units, a controlled access area, for those who require more assistance. Project costs are estimated at $6 million.


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