The CEO of the company building a neighborhood for seniors off Indiana 14 in southwest Fort Wayne said the development will have tree-lined streets, a warm-water pool and a fitness building to promote healthy living.

BHI, the owner of the Towne House on St. Joe Center Road, has owned the 70 acres planned for Prairie Landing for a few years and wants to create a community with 73 duplexes and possibly apartments with retail spaces along the front. It has a similar neighborhood in Indianapolis with two bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage with each living space. It was seeking to rezone about 2 acres from residential to limited commercial and about 57 acres to planned residential. A large portion of land will be left as a buffer.

Dodd Kattman, principal of MKM architecture + design, said at the Fort Wayne Plan Commission’s July 8 public hearing the development will be “an active adult community. I don’t even like to use the term retirement community. ...I think the individuals that they’re appealing to is a very active adult community, and this campus is designed in a way to encourage people to get to know each other.”

The development will be very nature-centered with tree-lined streets and a pond in the middle with a nearby wellness and fitness building accessible to residents. At the head of the complex will be a clubhouse with a warm-water pool for “restorative, for fitness, for spiritual, educational, and just the whole campus is really designed around improving one’s life,” Kattman said.

By charter, people 55 and over would be eligible to live there. The Towne House structure has usually a $300,000 fee and then monthly lease payments for the unit and its maintenance, said Tom Niezer, attorney with Barrett McNagny, representing BHI. Niezer said it is the last large piece of real estate on Illinois Road east of Scott Road that remains to be developed. Because of the high-quality construction to go into the homes, the development won’t adversely affect property values of nearby residences.

Property owners were invited to a meeting to discuss the development. The biggest issue to come from that meeting was concern for storm drainage, Niezer said. The traffic impact was expected to be nominal, he said.

The plan commission expected to meet July 15 to decide the rezoning requests.

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