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BIRMINGHAM, MI-Hughes Properties has received preliminary site plan approval for the 100-unit Regency at Elm, a senior living condominium building directly east of the city’s affluent Downtown. The project, a four-story, 151,000-sf structure, will cost about $25 million to build in the city’s Triangle District, at Elm Street and Maple Road.

Ron Hughes, president of the self-named company, tells GlobeSt.com that there’s a need for high-end condos for the elderly. These properties are geared toward seniors who do not yet need assisted living, he says. “As long as they are independent, they can live in the unit,” he says. The resident pays an entry fee, something along the lines of $300,000 for this property, he says, and then when they are ready to sell, they get 90% to 100% back, depending on how long the unit was used and its condition. The resident also pays a monthly maintenance and service fee, Hughes says.

The city has relaxed its ordinances to encourage more development in the Triangle District, allowing buildings up to five stories. Hughes says he goes back before the city in November for the final site plan, hopes to get approval by December and to break ground in spring 2008. “It should be a 17-month construction job, and we should come online by fall of 2009,” he says.

The building will cater toward the high-end resident, he says. The building will have an 18,000-sf amenity section, with a full dining kitchen, a pub, meeting rooms and full-service parking below the building, and will feature from 830 sf to 2,200 sf. “It will be like a boutique hotel,” Hughes says. “There’s a definite need here for this building, there’s no other luxury senior living facility like this in the area.” The building is being constructed on the site of the former Hamilton Funeral Home.

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