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Pamela Belz of Presbyterian Homes & Services describes the proposed senior-living campus to members of the Hudson Plan Commission on Thursday night, April 10. Next to her are drawings and layouts of the planned campus. (Hudson Star-Observer photos by Randy Hanson)

Plan Commission recommends permit for Presbyterian Homes campus

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Plans for a 160-unit senior-living campus and dialysis clinic next to Hudson Hospital & Clinic received the endorsement of the Hudson Plan Commission last Thursday, April 10.

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Without any opposition, the commission recommended approval of the conditional use permit that Presbyterian Homes will need to build the senior housing on a 14.6-acre site zoned for general business (B-2) use.

The commission also unanimously approved concept development plans for the senior housing and clinic.

Final approval of the conditional use permit and construction plans will require action by the Hudson City Council.

The biggest news of the evening was that DaVita Dialysis will occupy the 6,000-square-foot clinic that will be part of the campus.

The occupant of the clinic wasn’t identified in the initial project description presented to the city, and reported on in last week’s Star-Observer.

A press release given to the Star-Observer following last week’s Plan Commission meeting said Presbyterian Homes & Services, Hudson Hospital & Clinics and DaVita have been working together on plans for the senior community for the past three years.

DaVita is the dialysis division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., a Fortune 500 company that provides a variety of health care services at locations throughout the United States and abroad.

It is a leading provider of kidney care in the U.S., providing dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end-stage renal disease, according to the company website, www.davita.com.

In a phone call Tuesday, Cari Dock, the regional operations director for DaVita Healthcare Partners, said DaVita has had a longstanding relationship with Hudson Hospital & Clinic and the HealthPartners physicians group.

Dr. Randa El Husseini, a Hudson Hospital Specialty Clinic nephrologist, will serve as medical director at the Hudson dialysis clinic.

Dock said DaVita had been in conversations with HealthPartners, owner of Hudson Hospital & Clinic, about opening a Hudson dialysis center, and when Presbyterian Homes came forward with its plan, the opportunity for a three-way collaboration presented itself.

She said DaVita prefers freestanding, ground-floor locations for its dialysis clinics.

Patients will be able to be dropped off at the door and enter the Hudson clinic without going through any other building, Dock said.

She said the clinic will have 12 chronic dialysis stations and two classrooms for training patients do their own dialysis at home.

Patients typically undergo dialysis for 3.5 to 4.5 hours at a time, up to three times a week.

Dock said people in Hudson and surrounding western Wisconsin communities needing dialysis now have to drive to the Twin Cities to receive it.

The clinic will serve people of all ages, she said.

“It’s not just the elderly. Renal disease knows no age.”

The dialysis clinic is the first phase of the senior-living campus scheduled for completion. Construction is anticipated to start in June, with the planned opening in the fall.

According to the news release, construction will then begin on the 160 senior apartments.

The breakdown of those units is 95 senior-living apartments (licensed as a residential-care apartment complex), 46 assisted-living apartments and 19 memory-care apartments. The assisted-living and memory-care apartments would be licensed as a community-based residential facility by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Pamela Belz, a project developer with Senior Housing Partners, a subsidiary of Presbyterian Homes & Services, gave an overview of the Hudson project during a public hearing that immediately preceded the Plan Commission meeting.

Belz said the senior campus would be “snuggled up against the wooded slope” east of the new Medical Office Building on the hospital campus.

The elevation of the dialysis clinic will be a little higher than the hospital, she said, and the senior apartments will step up from there.

The highest point of the building will be 35 feet lower than the ground level of the houses on the hill above the campus, however, Belz said.

Brick, cement siding and neutral tones that blend with the setting will be used in the construction, she said.

The campus is being designed by Pope Associates. Rob Howard, an architect from North Hudson, was one of the representatives of the design firm in the audience.

Steve Muellerleile, the vice president of business development for Hudson Hospital & Clinc and Westfields Hospital at New Richmond, also was in attendance.

Just one citizen spoke during the public hearing.

Tom Beane, a resident of Stageline Road, said he didn’t have any objection to the proposed senior-living campus, but recommended a change in the roundabout at the entrance to the hospital and clinics.

He said there is a problem with eastbound traffic slowing down where Stageline Road narrows to one lane going into the roundabout. He suggested adding a right-turn lane into the hospital.

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Randy Hanson
Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
(715) 426-1066
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