One big project: construction progresses on Woodland Hill complex
As seen in the Hudson Star Observer, October 22, 2015
By Randy Hanson, Hudson Star Observer
There’s no missing the massive Woodland Hill complex rising in front of the bluff just east of the Hudson Hospital&Clinic campus. “I mean it’s big. This is a big project,” Rob Howard, Architect with Pop Architects said while giving a tour of the construction. Howard, a senior design architect for Pope Architects, was involved in the early project definition of the 160-unit senior housing complex being built for Presbyterian Homes & Services.
The four-level building has about 300,000 square feet of floor space, including a 30,000-square-foot town center. The complex has 95 independent-living apartments, 46 assisted-living apartments and 19 memory-care apartments. “The migration of what is going on in senior housing is pretty dramatic,” Howard said. “…It’s a continuum of care campus.” That means residents can age in place, moving from an independent-living apartment to an assisted-living apartment if they want -- and eventually to a memory-care apartment, if needed. What makes Woodland Hill special is the number and quality of its amenities. They include a market, bistro, movie theater, art studio, hobby room, club lounge, fitness center, salon, bank, restaurant-style dining, outdoor courtyards and more.
The rent for most of the apartments is market rate, “so this complex has got it all,” Howard said. According to information provided by Dianna Weum of Presbyterian Homes & Services, the independent-living apartments range in size from 736 to 1,706 square feet. The rent starts at starts at $1,627 a month and includes payment for all the utilities. The largest apartments have two bedrooms, two baths, a den, sunroom and deck, in addition to the living/dining room and kitchen.The modern Scandinavian interior design features bright, open floor plans, nine-foot ceilings and cabinetry with a light-wood stain.
Each apartment has its own heating and air-conditioning unit, in-home laundry, and blinds on the windows and patio doors. Most of the apartments have walk-in storage rooms. The corner units have sunrooms and every independent-living apartment has a deck. The exterior wall bump-outs with windows add texture to the building and bring added light into the apartments. The assisted-living and memory-care apartments range in size from 392 to 1,005 square feet. They include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom floor plans.The prices for the assisted-living and memory-care apartments will be released in December.
“Walk inside Woodland Hill and find yourself captured by the essence of a bright, sunny day in the lush green woods,” a promotional piece says. “The Scandinavian style throughout creates a harmonious combination of modern design and comfortable living.” The complex includes the DaVita Dialysis Center that offers kidney care close to home for people in the Hudson area.
Rob Howard has helped design senior housing for a number of the major providers in the Midwest. But drawing plans for Woodland Hill was special, said the North Hudson resident.
“I’m so honored to be involved in a project like this in Hudson,” he said. “I don’t often have a chance to work in town, so it’s pretty cool.” Howard and his wife, Carole, moved to North Hudson in 1991. He worked for a Minneapolis architectural firm for 15 years before coming here. He also worked for Elliott Architects for a year and half, and then joined Pope Architects 21 years ago. Howard grew up in Beaver Dam, where his father owned the Ford dealership. He’s a graduate of Notre Dame University’s School of Architecture. Howard said the challenge was nestling the tall Woodland Hill complex into the hillside without having to move too much dirt. The roof is flat to limit the height of the building. The building has four “fingers” that stretch toward the hillside and provide for more corner apartments and windows. The exterior colors and materials blend with the next-door hospital and clinic campus. Howard said the complex is taking shape pretty much like he pictured it would. He has the help of a computer model that allowed him to view the building from different sides and heights as he designed it. “In the last 10 years, my work has evolved into using the computer a lot more on the design side, because of the ability to model a building in three dimensions, and truly design it from all sides at the same time,” he said. “It’s almost career-changing because you can do so many more things.”
Dan Saiko, the project superintendent for CBS Construction Services, said the construction is close to being on schedule for the target spring completion dates. The independent-living apartments will open first, followed by the assisted-living apartments about a month later. Because of different fire codes, the independent-living portion of the complex is wood-framed and the assisted-living portion is metal-framed.
Saiko and Howard are hoping that predictions for a late winter hold true so more work can be done before freeze-up. The senior apartments and town center are in various stages of construction, including framing and insulation and Sheetrock installation, according to Presbyterian Homes. Painters were also on the job last Friday. Some of the independent-living apartments appear to be close to completion.
Framing of the assisted-living portion of the building is underway. The fourth floor of that part of the complex hasn’t been framed yet.
The parking lot is paved and the exterior site work will be mostly completed by winter, a construction update from Presbyterian Homes said. The update said more than half of the independent-living apartments are already reserved. Howard thinks that is a remarkable number for this stage of the project. Reservations for the assisted-living and memory-care apartments will open in December. People can get their names on an interest list now.
For more information about Woodland Hill or to reserve an apartment or to be placed on the interest list, contact Dianna Weum at (715) 381-0173 or firstname.lastname@example.org.