Cottages begin to take shape at Eastview

MIDDLEBURY — Work is now in full swing on Eastview at Middlebury’s first 11 cottages, with developers anticipating the entire 99-unit retirement community to be completed by May of 2012.
It was back in 2005 that developers received town consent to build Eastview off South Street, next to Porter Medical Center. But the project’s Act 250 permit was appealed by a local resident, leading to five years of litigation that ultimately had to be decided by the Vermont Supreme Court. With the court case in the rearview mirror and financing in place, construction workers officially broke ground on the first phase of Eastview on Dec. 1.
That initial phase, according to Eastview principal Rob Alberts, involves construction of 11 independent living cottages on a new road called “Kestral Lane.” The cottages will range from 1,150 square feet to 2,800 square feet. As the Addison Independent went to press, foundation and wall work was well under way for the new structures.
“It is moving right along,” Alberts said of the initial work, adding water, sewer and electric service had already been extended to the phase one area.
The initial batch of 11 cottages is expected to be completed by October, according to Alberts.
Work will soon begin on “phase II,” consisting of another batch of 10 cottages to be serviced by a new road called Deer Meadow Drive. That second batch of cottages is to be completed during the winter of 2011-2012, followed by a “phase III” of nine additional cottages, also on Deer Meadow Drive, during the spring of 2012.
Phase III will also include the biggest Eastview component — the 85,000-square-foot inn building that will feature 32 independent living apartments, 19 traditional assisted living apartments, and 18 special care suites for people with memory loss ailments.
The inn will feature such amenities as an auditorium, fitness room, dining room, emergency response service, hair salon and café-bistro.
Alberts said all but six of the independent living cottages have been pre-sold at this point — a positive sign, he said, considering current economic and real estate market conditions. He said Eastview has pre-sold half of its independent living apartments. The assisted living and memory loss units will be marketed just before completion. Alberts noted there is currently a great demand for such units that come with support services.
Eastview is being built by Williston-based DEW Construction Corp., with various other Vermont-based subcontractors, according to Alberts. He placed total construction costs at around $23 million.
Once completed, Eastview will become the second major retirement community to lay down roots in Addison County in recent years. The Lodge at Otter Creek is already offering independent and assisted living housing, along with memory loss services, on its 36-acre campus off Middle Road.
Once completed, Eastview is expected to employ 45 people. The project will pay in excess of $200,000 annually for its sub-lease to Porter, money that will be used to defray operating costs at Helen Porter nursing home.
Susan Ritter, president of the Eastview board, is pleased to see the latest progress on the project.
“Every time I drive down South Street, I see further progress,” Ritter said. “It is very exciting to finally see buildings go up and construction progress.”
Alberts said the development owes a debt of gratitude to its future inhabitants.
“We’re thrilled for the future residents,” Alberts said. “They have been hanging in there with us. They are the real heroes in this whole thing.”
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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