The Shelter Cove area on Hilton Head is home to shops, restaurants and soon-to-be luxury apartments.
Now it could be home to an assisted living facility under a plan in the early stages of development.
Initial plans were submitted to the town at the end of October for Merrill Gardens at Hilton Head, an assisted living community planned for 71 Shelter Cove Lane.
The development would offer studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom “apartment-like” units, according to application documents. There would be approximately 123 units in the four to five story building.
Other facilities on the island offer assisted living, among them The Bayshore, Bloom, Brookdale, and The Cypress. Most of them, however, are on the island’s north end.
“There’s nothing like this in the mid-island area,” said Judd Carstens of Witmer Jones Keefer Ltd. — a landscape architecture and land planning company based in Bluffton — who submitted the application. “One of the town’s goals has always been taking care of the population we have, and their desire to age in place. It definitely fills a need in housing. As much as workforce housing is discussed, this is an opportunity to take care of existing residents on the island.”
Carstens said there are not yet estimated costs for the units.
The development would also include a lounge area, bistro, dining area, wellness center, activity center and salon. In addition, a bus and town car would be available to take residents to events and outings and to run errands, according to application documents.
The building will be licensed by the Department of Health and Environmental Control to provide “a light level of assistance,” such as bathing, dressing, and medicine management. There will also be about 12 secured “memory care” units for those requiring special assistance. About 80 percent of residents are expected to be independent, according to the documents.
The project developer is Second Fifty Communities, a Charleston-based company that has partnered with Merrill Gardens.
Merrill Gardens owns and operates about 30 senior living communities across the country, according to its website.
Second Fifty Communities and Merrill Gardens did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Chris Darnell, urban designer for the town, said the 4.3-acre site is empty, but at one point had a Cracker Barrel restaurant.
Carstens said there is no timeline for the project yet, but he hopes to have the area rezoned and begin the development plan review with the town by February.
The project also requires approval from the town’s Design Review Board, according to Darnell.
Carstens said he hopes to submit an application with the Design Review Board in the spring.