The Sterling Group Senior Living Project

An architect’s drawing submitted to Auburn officials earlier this year shows the Sterling Senior Living project proposed for Auburn’s west edge at 2144 S.R. 8.

AUBURN — Plans for the Sterling Senior Living development at Auburn’s west edge received approval from the city Plan Commission on Nov. 12.

Also known as Astral of Auburn, the development will be a three-story building with 154 units for independent living, assisted living and memory care residents. It will have 50-60 full-time employees, a city report said.

The 11.7-acre site at 2144 S.R. 8 lies to the west of the new Holiday Inn Express and across the highway from Van’s Home Center.

Sterling Development of Mishawaka aims to start construction in January, said Amy Schweitzer, administrator of the Auburn Department of Building, Planning and Development.

A secondary access to the building will be created by extending Lenora Lane, which now ends at the new hotel. Lenora Lane will curve to the southwest to reach the south side of of the senior living development.

Mayor Norm Yoder has committed to financing a bridge across Peckhart Ditch, and the city will accept ownership and maintenance responsibility for Lenora Lane and public utilities, said a report from the Department of Building, Planning and Development.

The building will be 55 feet, 8 inches tall with three wings and an enclosed courtyard. Its parking lot will provide 107 regular parking spaces and seven accessible parking spaces, exceeding the required 98 spaces, the report said,

The number of living units proposed has increased to 154, from a total of 132 that the developers discussed in May, when they obtained a zoning change from city officials to allow the project.

“Staff believes the proposed use and development is well-suited for this location. Throughout this process, both the developer and property owner have worked with the city to alleviate traffic concerns by conducting a traffic study and providing a secondary access to the property that provides connectivity to adjacent commercial development. As part of the Lenora Lane extension, public utilities will also be extended to serve this property and future development in this area,” the city report said.

The Plan Commission’s approval comes with conditions that include obtaining approval from the DeKalb County Drainage Board, a driveway permit from the Indiana Department of Transportation, permits for signs and approval of Lenora Lane and public utility extensions by the Auburn Board of Public Works and Safety.

Last spring, a company official said Sterling Group owns senior housing developments for independent living in the South Bend and Indianapolis areas. It also owns and manages 8,000 multi-family housing units in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the nation.

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