After months of little progress building a multi-million dollar senior community in Topeka, the owner of this property says he’s getting back on track.
Jerry Hill, executive vice president of New York-based Calamar Construction, said this week the company has hired at least one new subcontractor who is expected to start work next week on the property Calamar owns at 2700 SW 3rd. St. in Topeka.
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This property, which was purchased by Calamar in 2018 and is in the Kanza Science and Education Park of Topeka Unified School District 501, is expected to house a 134-unit residential facility and other related amenities once the community is built. elderly people over. .
“The project has been very slow over the last few months. There have been things going on, but it has been very slow,” Hill said. “Like most construction projects, COVID has had a significant impact on both the supply chain and on (the contractor’s) ability to operate. Although the submarine issue has been corrected, the supply chain continues to pull through. “
Construction slowed by COVID pandemic, owner says
According to a previous Topeka Capital-Journal report, Calamar – a full-service real estate company that operates around 40 senior communities across the country – bought 6.5 acres of land in Kanza Park for $ 501 for around $ 948,500.
Calamar originally planned to open a multi-million dollar retirement home there in the spring of 2020, but that scheduled opening date has been pushed back and then pushed back even further.
Hill said Calamar is now aiming for summer 2022.
“If COVID hadn’t hit, we would be opening late this year, instead of next summer,” Hill said.
According to Bill Fiander, director of Topeka’s planning and development department, Calamar’s permit to build on the property has expired.
“They would have to renew their license if they chose to start over,” he said.
Hill said Calamar is in the process of renewing it now, just in time for the project’s new framing subcontractor to “kick back into high gear.”
“He’s had people there this week, but next week he’s stepping up a gear, after the vacation (July 4),” Hill said.
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He indicated that there was still a lot of work to be done. Since construction on the property has been slow, Hill said, Calamar occasionally brings in a third-party inspector to make sure all building materials are still in good condition.
“We buy wood that is designed to be weathered for up to six months,” Hill said. “Anytime we have some kind of downturn or whenever there’s a weather event, and always coming out of winter, we make sure that a third party comes in and checks all the wood that’s exposed for s. ‘Make sure everything is okay. There will probably be some that need to be replaced – most won’t need to be – but we are checking all that out. “
Calamar develops a partnership with 501 USD
When complete, the senior citizen community is expected to include self-catering accommodation and a variety of lifestyle amenities.
“We have a movie theater, a yoga room, an exercise room, a chapel, a computer lab, a library, that sort of thing,” Hill said.
Calamar also intends to work closely with Topeka Public Schools, which own the property surrounding the 6.5-acre land.
The 2018 $ 501 deputy superintendent told the Capital-Journal that retired district employees would be the first to rent apartments in the Calamar complex in its first year of operation.
Attempts to reach Topeka Public Schools Superintendent Tiffany Anderson last week to comment on the district’s development partnership with Calamar were unsuccessful.
But Hill said Calamar works closely with the school district and looks forward to implementing intergenerational programming for the benefit of Calamar residents and students in the district.
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“We really think this project is going to be a flagship property for us because of the location and the work with the district,” Hill said.
He said students can work with residents to solve technology problems or teach them how to use different devices.
“One of the exciting projects that we have done in other communities and that we will definitely do here,” added Hill, “is that the students will come to interview the residents and they have written their life story as a project. school And then, they give this story back to the resident, who can then share it with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“A lot of things like this are going to happen in the community.”