This post has been updated. Westmont Living is not involved in the new proposal.
A new developer is proposing a senior living facility on the site of the Nazareth Nursing Home. Ellicott Development is now leading an effort to redevelop the 291 North Street property that is within the Allentown Historic Preservation District.
Catholic Health System closed the Nazareth Nursing Home facility in late 2007 and Uniland Development purchased the 2.94-acre site in April 2015 for $1 million. The purchase also included 298 Summer, a flag lot that contains a portion of the complex’s parking lot. Uniland had been planning a six-building upscale residential development until deciding to sell to Westmont Living for $2.2 million in May 2016. Westmont is not involved with the new proposal.
Ellicott Development is proposing to demolish much of the Nazareth complex and constructing a 148,000 sq.ft. facility encompassing 119 units with significant green space both in front of and behind the building. The structure would be three-stories fronting North Street but four stories in the rear.
The Buffalo Preservation approved a design for the project in February 2016 but the development team is seeking a number of changes at the Board’s January 12 meeting. From the application to the Preservation Board:
1) First, we have flipped the building in the East-West direction, putting the main entry drive lane on the east side of the building. This change was needed given the existing grades on site and need for vehicular access to the basement for indoor parking which has been added as an amenity to the project. A restricted access exit only drive lane will also exist on the west side of the building as required by fire code. This drive lane will only be used for emergency purposes if required.
Previous Site Plan
Proposed Site Plan
2) Second, due to the benefits of long-term durability and maintenance the material on the rear and a portion of the sides of the building previously proposed as EIFS has been changed to a combination of clapboard, shake and board & batten specialty siding manufactured by Certainteed. Along with a facade that steps in and out on all elevations, a combination of siding profiles and integral trim bands add interest to the elevations providing further horizontal and vertical separation to break up the facade. Furthermore, a well variegated earth-tone color palette adds additional interest and is complimentary to the masonry materials used on the primary elevation and selectively on the east/entry drive elevation.
3) Third, in addition to the facade material changes discussed in #2 above, the entire North Street elevation is now masonry, where previously a portion was approved as EIFS. The masonry facade has a number of details including soldier course banding, extrusions and precast features to create interest and shadow lines on the elevation.
4) Forth, a portion of the existing building will be retained at the rear portion of the site in addition to the existing 2-story garage. Both areas will be clad to match the facade of new building. Also, the existing windows will be replaced to match. Neither of these areas are visible from North Street.
5) Lastly, a monument sign has been added at the main entry drive. The sign would mimic the profile of the arch top window openings on the primary elevation and would be constructed of masonry to match the building. The sign would be indirectly lit.
The senior living facility, Symphony Circle Active Living, is being designed by Silvestri Architects. The developers are also seeking a variance to provide for 86 parking spaces where 119 spaces are normally required. Forty of the proposed spaces would be underground with the remaining 46 to the rear of the building. The Zoning Board of Appeals will consider that request at its January 18 meeting.