Senior Living Developments

CERTUS seeks rezoning near Dr. Phillips for 5th memory care facility project

An elevation of the proposed Certus Memory Care facility in Dr. Phillips.

CERTUS Senior Living is pursuing its fifth memory care facility development near Dr. Phillips, but must win over area residents to faciliate a rezoning from low-density residential.

The developer filed a rezoning request on Friday with Orange County for two parcels totaling roughly 5.4 acres it has under contract. Located at 7685-7753 Conroy Windermere Road, the site lies generally north of Dr. Phillips, Sand Lake Hills and Orlando's Shadow Bay Park.


The properties are owned by separate families, one undeveloped and the other with a single-family home dating to 1945. The request would rezone from R-CE to Planned Development.

"We've had one community meeting with residents and another scheduled for late August," CEO Glen Pawlowski told GrowthSpotter on Friday. "This would be our fifth project. Its becoming particularly hard in infill areas to cobble together sites and get the right zoning while still finding a reasonable price point."


He expects the rezoning application review process to run through at least January, after which CERTUS would face another six months or more of development and construction plan approvals with the county.

Pawlowski and his partners announced Central Florida expansion plans last year, saying the company wanted to tap into what it feels is an underserved market: assisted living communities that specialize in care for residents with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

CERTUS memory care facilities are being built using a prototype of 64 studio-style apartments divided into two 32-unit wings, with just over 43,000 square feet under roof.

Marketed by CERTUS as a Dr. Phillips-area facility, the project would carry the prototype specs and an estimated $12 million total cost, said Pawlowski, with CERTUS seeking a construction loan for each new development.

The company has a sixth site under contract in Stuart, and a seventh and eighth in LOI stage in Melbourne and Port St. Lucie, he said.

Its first memory care facility in Mount Dora is now under construction, a second in Orange City should break ground next week, a third in Waterford Lakes is pegged for construction in September and a fourth in Longwood should start in October, Pawlowski added. Those start dates have been delayed from earlier this summer.

Each CERTUS property would have two distinct dining and lounge areas with residential wings connected by a central "town center" that features a bistro, park benches, a beauty shop and theater.

DeBary-based TEDS is civil engineer on the project, and Bessolo Design Group has been the architect on CERTUS' template design. Melbourne-based Certified General Contractors has been hired to build the first four projects this year, and will likely be hired again "as long as they have the bandwidth for us," Pawlowski said.


Florida has approximately 500,000 people diagnosed with Alzheimer's, or 10 percent of the nation's total Alzheimer's population.

And at 17.3 percent, Florida has the highest percent of residents age 65 and older, the age range when people are more likely to suffer from Alzheimer's disease or dementia. In contrast, 13.7 percent of the U.S. population is 65-plus.

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