Over 200 “affordable” senior living apartments and a memory care center are under construction in New Whiteland.
Indianapolis-based Vita Investment Holdings, LLC is building a 242-unit campus geared toward senior assisted and independent living on both sides of Country Gate Drive along U.S. 31.
Called “Vita of New Whiteland,” half of the complex is under construction now on the north side of Country Gate Drive. This section will include a four-story building with 112 assisted living units and a one-story memory care center.
The assisted living section of the campus will include regular one to two-bedroom apartments and studios for non-medical living for seniors, said Zeke Turner, founder and CEO of Vita Investment Holdings.
This building is called “assisted living” because it offers amenities to residents in addition to their apartments, such as meals, transportation and housekeeping services. Units in this section are expected to cost $3,000 to $4,000 per month, which includes the apartment rent, along with all the other services. The assisted living section will accept Medicaid.
Across the street, on the south end of Country Gate Drive will be 130 one to two-bedroom independent living apartments. These are typical age-restricted apartments for people aged 55 and up, without the amenities of the assisted living units, Turner said. These apartments are expected to cost between $1,000 to $1,700 per month.
Overall, the only difference between the two apartment buildings is the amenities offered in the assisted living section, Turner said. The apartments are all similar in quality.
The mission of Vita of New Whiteland is to be an affordable housing complex for seniors county-wide. All the apartments are priced below traditional market rates to make them affordable to older generations who are looking to downsize, or may need some extra care, Turner said.
“One of the challenges that people have had, as they as they get older, or we’ll call it our ‘aging Americans’ as a more broad category … when you get to the place of wanting to downsize into an apartment, to simplify your lifestyle, or you get to a place where you start getting some services, the cost gets very expensive,” Turner said.
Vita Investment Holdings is to provide these affordable options to communities that need it. Johnson County currently does not have senior living apartments like what Vita is planning to offer, Turner said.
Vita’s products provide a good value to its residents at a fair price, he said. Generally, assisted living can cost around $5,000 to $6,000 a month, he said.
“It’s something that’s desperately needed,” Turner said. “All of our research and market studies up to this point just showed a huge gap in this middle segment of living. So, we’re excited to be there and to help solve a problem and to also be a good citizen locally.”
Vita Investment Holdings will receive $674,394 in rental housing tax credits annually for 10 years from the state for the New Whiteland complex. These tax credits were announced last year by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. Vita of New Whiteland was one of three developers to be awarded these tax credits for six housing projects.
The company also received $664,501 in tax credits to build a similar senior living complex in Greenfield, and it received $985,969 in credits to build 186 affordable multifamily units in Arcadia, Fowler and Rensselaer.
The overall planning process for Vita of New Whiteland has gone smoothly, and town officials are supportive of the project, Turner said. Because the land at Country Gate Drive was already zoned for this type of residential living, the developer did not have to get many formal approvals from the town, such as a rezone.
Vita of New Whiteland is expected to open around the spring or summer of 2024. The current construction of the assisted living and memory care center is set to take 15 to 16 months. Construction of the independent living section is set to start in 60 to 90 days and take 12 to 14 months to build. So, both sections will be ready to open at the same time.
“This project will serve all of Johnson County … because in that New Whiteland kind of corridor there we’re right on the Greenwood line. And then our primary market area really runs all the way up almost into Marion County and down through Franklin,” Turner said. “We’re just excited about being there. We’re excited about being a part of Johnson County.”