A developer of health care centers has revamped its plan for a retirement community in Westbrook to include facilities for Alzheimer’s treatment and assisted living.

Sandy River Co.’s previous plan, approved by the Westbrook Planning Board in 2007, called for about 60 cottages for senior citizens on land between Spring and Stroudwater streets.

Tonight, the company will present an expanded proposal to the Planning Board. The new proposal is for a three-phase project, with a 50-bed memory care center for Alzheimer’s patients, followed by a 120-unit independent- and assisted-living facility and, finally, 44 cottages to sell to people who are 55 and older.

Daniel Maguire, a partner in Sandy River, which owns 11 health care facilities in Maine, said the economic downturn stalled the project and eventually led the developer to change its plan.

“We just felt there was a need to add to (the previous proposal) and provide additional senior-care services,” he said.

Maguire said Sandy River plans to begin construction of the memory care center this year so it can open next summer or fall. The facility would be built next to Springbrook Center, a 125-bed nursing home owned by Sandy River and run by Pennsylvania-based Genesis HealthCare.

Maguire hopes the proposed independent- and assisted-living facility would be built in the next couple of years. He said construction of the cottages would depend on the recovery of the real estate market.

“What we’d like to do is create a full senior-care community,” Maguire said.

In 2006, the Westbrook City Council rezoned the land behind the Animal Refuge League to allow Sandy River to move forward with its project, called Stroudwater Landing, which would occupy a 65-acre site.

City Planner Molly Just said Sandy River’s plan to build a road connecting Spring and Stroudwater streets was an incentive for the council to change the zoning.

Sandy River would have opened the road to the public by the time 51 of the cottages were built. Now, the developer says it will finish the road once it’s ready to open the assisted-living facility.

Just said she plans to brief city councilors, who could rezone the land again, about the proposed changes to the project, including the timing of the construction of the road, which she called “a critical component.”

Public comment will be allowed at tonight’s meeting, starting at 7 at Westbrook High School. City councilors are scheduled to discuss the project on June 27.


Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: [email protected]