Senior community seeks to expand on former Chevy's site

Senior community seeks to expand on former Chevy's site

Michele Ellson

A high-end senior community on Alameda’s waterfront is seeking permission to expand onto the site of a former Chevy’s restaurant.

Oakmont Senior Living wants to build a 52-unit assisted living and memory care facility on the site of the former Chevy’s on Mariner Square Drive, next to its existing Cardinal Point independent living facility. They’ll ask for the Planning Board’s blessing to build the three-story, 40,300-square-foot facility at the board’s meeting Monday.

Oakmont is also proposing unspecified upgrades to the shoreline that fronts the 0.93-acre property.

The project would be designed to match the existing Cardinal Point facility, and would generate a fraction of the traffic that Chevy’s once did, information provided to the Planning Board in advance of Monday’s meeting shows.

Cardinal Point’s 100 residents offered unanimous support for the project, which would offer higher levels of care that some said they may need as they continue to age.

“The new facility is greatly needed to serve not only present and future Cardinal Point residents but will fill a growing need for these services for residents of Alameda,” Cardinal Point resident and onetime Oakland City Councilman Richard Spees wrote on behalf of the facility’s residents.

Spees said the new facility will replace a building that has been empty and deteriorating for more than a decade and that shoreline path upgrades will eliminate slip and fall hazards that have caused accidents for Cardinal Point residents in the past.

H. Leabah Winter, a resident and former director of long-term care and aging for the state Department of Health Services, said a facility that provides additional assistance to people as they age and for dementia patients who may need a secure, locked place to live. And Winter, who moved into Cardinal Point with her husband and mother in 2008, said the waterside location is key.

“The location of the new Assisted Living and Memory Care facility adjacent to the Estuary will enable this more dependent population to enjoy the soothing views of the water from the common areas and many of their rooms,” Winter wrote.

A.V. Barnhill of Barnhill Marina and Boatyard, a Cardinal Point neighbor, also offered support for the proposed development, as did the Alameda Chamber of Commerce. The facility also neighbors John Beery Yachts, the Pasta Pelican restaurant, Commodore Events cruise ships and the Posey Tube.

“The current abandon(ed) restaurant is quickly falling into disrepair, reducing the value of Barnhill Marina,” Barnhill said. “Some of the floating home owners living here have expressed concern(s) about their safety when walking by the building.”

The assisted living facility would provide more assistance than residents in the existing Cardinal Point facility need, offering three meals a day and help with bathing, dressing, medication management and other day-to-day activities, in addition to housekeeping, laundry and recreation and social programs.

Oakmont has designed nearly three dozen senior communities on the West Coast, the company’s website says, including eight in California. About 1.5 million Californians used long-term care services in 2005, a number that Cardinal Point’s executive director, Michelle Moros, said will skyrocket as California’s Baby Boomers age.

In addition to earning a favorable Planning Board vote, the care provider will also need the City Council’s approval before moving forward, materials provided with the Planning Board’s agenda show, since the city’s general plan will need to be amended to allow additional senior living space on the site. But an environmental study of the potential impacts of the proposed project will not be required, they show.

The Planning Board’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. Monday in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue. An agenda and meeting materials are available on the city’s website.