Marion County Breaks Ground On New $63M Senior Community

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A rendering of Bridgewater Park, a nursing-home community set to open in Marion County by the summer of 2017. (Photo courtesy Dennis Ott)

Construction started Thursday on a new $63 million nursing-home community in Marion County that is expected to create 300-plus jobs upon opening and will include 310 individual suites.

The community, Bridgewater Park, is being built on a 35-acre site on Southwest 80th Avenue just off State Road 200 southwest of Ocala.

It’s scheduled to open sometime in the summer of 2017, but a sales office is set to be built on site by this summer to accept employment applications, answer questions and pre-sell apartments.

Dennis Ott, vice president of community relations and design for Bridgewater Park’s owner, TLC Management, said the community will include nurses on site at all hours, assisted living with memory care, independent living facilities, and medical and health care offices.

“The statistical needs show that there is a great need for senior options in Marion County,” he said.

The community will offer 100 private suites for those who may need assistance with daily activities, 120 private suites for those needing 24-hour nursing and rehabilitative care, and 90 apartments for independent living.

Twenty of the 90 independent-living apartments will be dedicated to residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory impairment.

Amenities will include a health spa, theater, gym, indoor garden, snack shop and town square, Ott said.

“We are very excited to have a new facility with all of the latest and state-of-the-art therapy equipment,” he said.

Randy McVay, CEO of Ocala Regional Medical Center, said such a facility is needed in Marion County.

“It is our expectation that through collaborating we will reduce hospital admissions, cost and negative patient outcomes. … Many [Ocala Regional Medical Center] patients are discharged to distant facilities because of not having enough available nursing home beds in southwest Marion County,” McVay wrote to Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration.

Bridgewater Park is being built near the On Top of the World neighborhood, which requires residents be at least 55 years old.

“Bridgewater Park will provide health care and senior options to their residents,” On Top of the World Marketing Director Linda Massarella wrote in an email.

“The difference is that On Top of the World sells new homes and does not provide senior health care options. Bridgewater provides senior healthcare options and does not sell homes.”

About Chloe Equizi

Chloe is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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