Royal Park Hotel Gets New Neighbors

By DREW HOWARD

At their latest meeting on Monday, July 9, Rochester City Council unanimously approved the development of a 137-unit, 243,124 square foot luxury senior living center in Downtown Rochester, just south of the Royal Park Hotel.

Blossom Mills is the latest addition to the Moceri Companies’ Blossom Collection, a group of luxury senior living centers being developed in Oakland Township, Auburn Hills, Clinton Township, and Sterling Heights. Blossom Mills will stand 6 stories high on 2.47 acres at the northwest corner of the Elizabeth and Second Street intersection. The site is zoned I-1 (Industrial-1) district.

Developers say Blossom Mills is being designed as an independent living and “active luxury” destination for senior citizens. Proposed amenities include a pool, exercise rooms, dining areas, activity rooms, outdoor and indoor gathering spaces, a library and a spa, among other things.

The center will not include services typically associated with assisted living facilities, memory care units and nursing homes, according to Blossom Collection President Kelly Scheer. However, residents will be able to access “enhanced” care designed on a need-by-need basis.

“There’s three plagues of elderhood – they’re called loneliness, helplessness and boredom,” Scheer told council members Monday night. “Those three plagues alone kill more people than cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and alzheimer’s put together,” she speculated.

“What we seek to do in the senior living industry is to create opportunities for people to engage, to create new hobbies, to learn about new people, to have connections, have relationships, and really create their own community.”

Plans for the center also include a shuttle bus for up to 12 seniors as well as a balcony with a decorative metal railing attached to every unit.

Additionally, developers note that Royal Park hotel guests will be allowed to use the spa inside Blossom Mills. Developers did not specify exactly when or how often the spa would be available to hotel guests.

At a Rochester Planning Commission meeting earlier this year, developer Dominic Moceri described Blossom Mills as “attainable, not affordable” in terms of its rental prices. Options include a 1 bed/1 bath ($2,800 – $3,300), 2 bed/1 bath ($3,400 – $3,700) and 2 bed/2 bath ($4,200 – $4,700), according to developers.

Moceri told commission members that the prices are comparable to similar projects. “What we’re providing is attainable,” he said. “Our proposed lease rates are slightly lower than competing projects with twice the amenities. If I add all the benefits then that exceeds what’s being provided.”

Blossom Mills still managed to score a passing grade of 15 out of 20 as it relates to sustainability. Council members were especially impressed by Moceri’s efforts in facilitating a pedestrian-friendly environment as well as the building’s historical-looking architecture.

The next Rochester City Council meeting will be held on Monday, July 23 at 7 p.m. inside the Rochester City Hall Council Chambers, located at 400 Sixth Street.