Golden shovels in hand, Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) celebrated the official groundbreaking on Wednesday, January 9 for Prairie Gate senior living community. The celebration, held at the New Horizon Presbyterian Church, included local civic and business leaders alongside the senior leadership of PHS and Senior Housing Partners, the project development team.
Prairie Gate is the newest senior living community in Council Bluffs. Located at 16 Valley View Drive, the 17.5 acre property was purchased from New Horizon Presbyterian Church. The site was chosen to meet the rapidly growing older adult population in the greater Council Bluffs region.
Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh addressed those in attendance. He recalled a conversation he had with a family member of a Council Bluffs elderly resident who had fallen and needed a lifestyle change. The family sought out assisted living services at a community of their choice, only to learn there was a long waiting list. “Today’s Groundbreaking represents great news for many underserved individuals in Pottawattamie County because Prairie Gate will offer them high quality living arrangements,” he said. Mayor Walsh added, “Prairie Gate will provide a full spectrum of senior care options that encourage independence among residents while working to provide them personal enjoyment and a sense of individual purpose.” The Mayor expressed his appreciation for how PHS has worked with Council Bluffs leaders from the inception of the project.
Mark Hudson, Regional Director of Operations for PHS, recalled the history of the project, which began in 2003 when New Horizon Presbyterian Church reached out to PHS asking about the feasibility of building a senior living community. After confirming the future need for senior housing and services in Council Bluffs, PHS purchased 17.5 acres of adjacent property from the church to develop a senior living community that would offer a full continuum of care. “As need for senior living expands in Council Bluffs, we believe it is important to honor God by enriching the lives and touching the hearts of older adults and we believe that this is the time to offer senior living to Council Bluffs,” said Hudson. “The vision that was set forth 15 years ago is now bearing fruit through dedication, commitment and hard work,” he said.
State Senator Jon Jacobsen, who attended the ceremony, commented, “This is a wonderful venture for Prairie Gate to come into this community. This marvelous combination of faith based people is bringing in a quality of life for people who have enriched this community as they continue through their golden years.”
Prairie Gate will offer 36 senior apartments, 24 assisted living apartments, 18 memory care apartments and 72 nursing care center suites. The property is situated across from the Valley View Trail, connecting to nearby parks and the extensive Council Bluffs Recreation Trails system. To reflect the surrounding natural environment, a prairie-style architectural design will connect the interior spaces with the outdoors, bringing views of the landscape and natural light through large windows.
At the heart of the community will be the Town Center offering an array of amenities and services, including community gathering spaces, restaurant-style dining, a bistro, style salon, library, club room, media room, chapel and wellness center with aerobics studio. Outdoor pathways, prairie plantings, gardens and a courtyard will be just outside the doors in a beautiful patio setting.
Construction began in November 2018 with completion anticipated in winter 2020, bringing about 135 full-time and part-time positions to the city. The new building is designed by Cunningham Group, based in Minneapolis, MN. CBS Construction, based in Champlin, MN is the general contractor and financing has been arranged through Piper Jaffray, based in Minneapolis, MN.