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Wellspire senior living project gets final approval, fall groundbreaking planned

Wellspire senior living project gets final approval, fall groundbreaking planned

The Summit of Bettendorf

Wellspire will break ground later this year on The Summit of Bettendorf, formerly called The Meridian, a new senior housing development at the intersection of 53rd Street and Middle Road.

The issue: The newly renamed The Summit at Bettendorf, the senior living community formerly called The Meridian, has cleared its final hurdle at the Bettendorf City Council.

The project is being developed by Wellspire, a collaboration between Johnson-based WesleyLife and local hospital system Genesis Health System, and will have over 100 independent living apartments, 16 assisted-living and 16 assisted-living memory support units, 20 short-term rehabilitation suites and 20 health care suites. The project is slated for 53rd Avenue and Middle Road in Bettendorf.

The project required a land use amendment and a zoning ordinance amendment, both of which have been in the works before Bettendorf City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission for a month.

What happened: The City Council unanimously approved the land use and zoning ordinance amendments at its meeting Tuesday, July 16, passing the project through.

The Council also voted 6-1 to waive the required third readings for both amendments. Alderman Bill Connors voted against those motions.

In public comment, WesleyLife Director of Development Darren Schlapkol sought to clarify questions councilors had had at previous meetings. He said the plan will provide 205 parking spots and will have approximately 45 employees during peak hours.

Schlapkol also said big events at the community will be limited.

“Our community is focused on our residents, their families and friends, we do not allow third-party vendors or event planners to host events at our community,” Schlapkol said. “I know there are communities similar to ours that have 300-400 guest events, that’s not an intention of ours nor has it ever been at one of our communities.”

What’s next: Groundbreaking is scheduled to take place in the fall.

Other business: On a unanimous vote, the council created a Downtown Bettendorf Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District, something that was applauded by councilors and audience members.

Businesses in the district agree to pay a fee above the cost of property taxes to fund projects there, Bettendorf Mayor Robert Gallagher said after the meeting.

“Things like beautification, things like festivals, things like working together to teach each other how best to run businesses and how best to bring in customers and how best to elevate the downtown,” Gallagher said. “It’s really important because right now, while our downtown is revitalizing and building, the business owners have taken it upon themselves to say ‘This is what we want, and we want to be in this together, we want to build a downtown.’”

Downtown Bettendorf Organization member Ryan Jantzi said the property owners and business owners of Bettendorf are ready for its revitalization. “This is our chance to get a seat at the table as property owners to what our downtown is going to look like. We want to create an environment that people want to work, live and play in our downtown, and this is our chance to help drive that forward.”


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