Peconic Landing’s expansion could begin by end of year

03/06/2013 5:19 PM |

RENDERING COURTESY OF PECONIC LANDING | In the site plan for Peconic Landing’s proposed $40 million expansion, the dark sections on the left show the proposed additions.

Peconic Landing’s long-awaited expansion could begin by the end of the year, if the Greenport life care community can get all the approvals and financing in place.

The $45 million expansion would add 46 apartments, 16 new private skilled nursing accommodations and a 16-suite “memory care facility” for seniors with cognitive impairment. The facility said that could bring 40 new health care jobs to town.

Peconic Landing received ZBA approval late last year for the three-story apartment wing. The Town Code limits buildings to two-and-a-half stories. Town planning director Heather Lanza says she’s expecting to see Peconic Landing before the Planning Board for site plan review in upcoming weeks.

“This is something we started studying five years ago, and now it looks like a reality,” Peconic Landing president Robert Syron said in an interview this week. “We have a significant wait list, 134 people, for the independent side of it.”

Peconic Landing sales manager Laurelle Cassone said 28 people, some of them couples, have committed to move into the new apartments.”

“We had to show New York State that we had demand for our apartments,” she said. “We’re already 58 percent committed for our priority program. We’re considerably ahead of schedule for our goal.”

Peconic Landing residents have had a great deal of input in the design of the expansion, said Mr. Syron.

“We’ve been asking how residents see the utilization of space,” he said. “We’re just following our incredible population’s lead.”

The apartments range in size from 750 to 1,100 square feet. Peconic Landing is also planning to expand its fitness facilities and pool area and add new administrative support spaces and a technologically enhanced “smart classroom” where residents can take advantage of college-style classes.

The memory care facility was proposed after Peconic Landing conducted a survey of local health care market needs.

“It will be person-centered dementia care, the only one of its kind on eastern Long Island,” said vice president for administrative health services Greg Garrett. “It will focus on a person’s strengths and provide them with a sense of purpose and peace. We do have people living at Peconic Landing who would be eligible. We also would be looking to provide these services to the greater community. There is a need for this type of care.”

The 16-room private skilled nursing facility, also recommended by the market study, will be a “neighborhood model,” with a common area, country kitchen, dining area, great room and activity area, used for short-term rehabilitation for residents recovering from surgery or illness.

“This will be for our own residents who require care, and it will also serve the greater community on occasion,” said Mr. Garrett. “The focus is really on offering our residents two higher levels of care.”

Ms. Cassone said the jobs created by the project will be “mostly frontline,” health care positions. “We’re not adding more management,” she said.

Mr. Syron said the facility hopes the construction jobs will be kept local.

“We’ve instructed our construction manager to try to find as many subcontractors as possible from the East End and Suffolk County,” he said. He added that when construction is complete, the 40 new jobs will include resident care staff such as nurses and nurses aides, and there will be opportunities for current employees to advance.

“We have 215 employees now. We will have 255 to 260,” he said. “The majority of our employees are folks on the North Fork.”

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