Senior group living planned for St Cornelius Convent
by BRIAN NADIG
A monthly membership fee ranging from $2,700 to $3,200 would be charged to those living in a proposed group home for those age 62 and over that would be constructed inside the Saint Cornelius Convent, 5228 N. Long Ave.
The fee would include the rental of a bedroom with a private bathroom, housekeeping and food services, and access to a shared vehicle for the home’s occupants. The facility would feature a shared kitchen, a dining room, garden, an elevator, a fireplace, a television room and nine single- and two double-occupancy bedrooms, ranging in size from 140 to 250 square feet.
Details of the project were presented at May 19 community meeting hosted by Alderman John Arena (45th). It was reported that Our Lady of Victory Parish is considering a similar project.
Point In Time LLC, the project’s developer, is seeking to convert underutilized parish buildings in Chicago into luxury living facilities for seniors.
Point In Time would be signing longterm leases for the buildings, and the Archdiocese of Chicago would receive a portion of the monthly fee charged occupants, Point representative Tom Smith said. Point In time would be responsible for all construction costs, including the estimated $1.7 million for the Saint Cornelius project.
Arena said that there is a great need for more senior living projects on the Northwest Side. He said that the new 98-unit senior living apartment building at 4117 N. Kilpatrick Ave. had more than 400 people on its waiting list.
A resident at the meeting asked if the project would be expanded to the Saint Cornelius School building given that the school is expected to close in a year as part of a consolidation plan being implemented by the archdiocese. Smith said that the "the potential" exists for converting the school to living space but that the school is not part of the proposal.
Several residents expressed concern that the four on-site parking spaces were insufficient. Smith said that it is expected that not all residents of the building would have their own car given the availability of a shared vehicle.
Parking congestion on area side streets could be reduced when the school closes, as school zone parking restrictions presumably would be lifted, a woman said.
In response to concerns that the monthly fee was too high, Smith said that the fee covers several services that typically are not included in a lease for a living unit. Insurance for the shared vehicle is included, and plans call for computer tablets to be available at the facility and for regular visits by a concierge to help arrange services for residents.
The project would require the convent site to be rezoned from RS-3, which is intended primarily for single-family homes and two-flats, to the less restrictive RT-4,which permits group living.
Project attorney Kathleen Duncan said that after the project is completed, the site could be downzoned back to RS-3, which is standard in the area. She said that the site of the school and church are not being rezoned.
Construction would take about six months, Smith said.