LAWTON, Mich. — A former nursing home in the Village of Lawton is being transformed after many years of sitting empty.
The former facility located at 99 Walker Street will soon be transformed into Blueberry Hill Assisted Living Facility will 64 rooms to serve the Village of Lawton.
The building used to be a nursing home but has been sitting empty for six years.
"We have an old nursing home facility that is about 50 years old. It has been vacant for the last six years," said Lisa Imus, the Village of Lawton's Village Manager.
The facility was previously owned by Bronson Healthcare who had plans to tear it down. That is until now. The new owners, a family out of Los Angeles, California purchased it to revitalize it into a new assisted living facility.
The village manager said it is much needed.
"We know for all of the nursing homes in the area, there is a waiting list. People are looking to get in, and so we know there is a need.," said Imus.
Blueberry Hill Assisted Living will be compromised of 64 rooms with a licensed capacity to house up to 120 residents.
The owners have invested millions of dollars to renovate the 44,000 square foot facility.
"This is a $3.3 million project. You think about a facility this size, you wouldn’t think it would be that expensive. You’re breathing life into it, so it’s not cheap," said Zach Morris, the executive director with Market Van Buren.
Since it is an old building, there is a lot they have to do to make it ready.
"We’re essentially adding makeup fresh air to all of the individual rooms. In doing that, we are also adding new showers, fire protection systems that are in place. Then revitalizing the room with a fresh coat of paint, flooring, new fixtures and new lighting," said Tom Stanek, the Director of Operations for the Kalamazoo office of Owen-Ames-Kimball Co.
Not only will it provide housing for those who need it, but it will also bring jobs to the community and economic growth.
"This project is bringing 50 jobs to the community. Between the investment and the new jobs they are bringing into the community, we are looking at about a $5.1 million economic impact to the area which for a small community is very impactful," said Morris.
The village council, as well as the state of Michigan, granted a tax exemption for the next ten years because of the investment it is bringing to the community.
The facility is expected to open sometime in early fall, but the details are still being finalized.