Senior housing expansion postponed


Officials from Edenwald, a Towson retirement community, asked Baltimore County's Development Review Committee yesterday to postpone consideration of plans for a $40 million expansion and renovation project so that it could continue meeting with members of the surrounding community.

"We want to be good neighbors. So, we want to listen to what they have to say," said Sal Molite, Edenwald's president. "We want to know what their concerns are."

Molite said members of the nearby Towson Gate condominium complex asked for more time to review the plans and offer their input. The county agreed to postpone consideration of Edenwald's plans.

The 18-story Edenwald apartment building, located on Southerly Road, is across the street from Towson Town Center.

The proposed expansion would include a 12-story addition on the east side of the existing high-rise, Molite said.

The expansion will increase the number of apartments from 231 to 285.

All 54 new apartments will be bigger than those in the current building, with some units more than 1,600 square feet.

Many of these units will also come with features such as granite countertops, wrap-around balconies and washers and dryers.

The new building would also allow Edenwald to offer 56 assisted-living units equipped with bedrooms and kitchenettes.

While it won't add any comprehensive care beds, the expansion would offer those residents more privacy by renovating all existing shared rooms into single rooms.

Edenwald also would use part of the proposed new building to create a wing dedicated to the treatment of residents with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Edenwald officials say they also plan to improve common facilities by adding a swimming pool with an exercise track, a chapel, a new dining room, a party room, a four-level parking garage and several lounges.

Residents pay an entry fee ranging from between $70,000 for a studio apartment and $250,000 for a two-bedroom penthouse. In addition, monthly fees from $1,864 to $3,900 are charged.

Dino La Fiandra, an attorney for Edenwald, said the community is asking that the expansion be approved as a refinement of the original plan approved by the county in 1983 to bypass the normal development review process.

It is not clear when Edenwald will return to the Development Review Committee for approval. A public hearing will be held at 2 p.m. on March 18 before the zoning commissioner in Towson to discuss the proposed project.

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