A development group is in the initial stages of transforming wooded land in Iowa City into a senior housing cooperative community with 70 single-family lots. The project, titled Monument Hills by Welch Design and Development LLC, would stretch 64.7 acres and be situated off Rochester Avenue and North Scott Boulevard.
Harvest Preserve is a private nature reserve in Northeast Iowa City that stretches approximately 100 acres. The plan calls for preserving 31.3 acres of woodlands and wetlands.
The easternmost section of the project would be called The Borough and run by Vintage Cooperatives by Ewing Properties. They are proposing an independent living community for people aged 55 and older with three main benefits: a community-living atmosphere with like-minded people, a member-owned community and free maintenance for residents, said Ray Bisbee, CEO and president of Ewing Properties.
Similar senior-living cooperatives can be found at 750 E. Foster Road in Iowa City, 1180 Kennedy Parkway in Coralville and soon-to-be-completed The Estates in North Liberty at 175 S. Jones Blvd.
In the cooperative, residents would be able to choose between patio homes, condo-style suites or twin-homes. Many of the homes have one-level floor plans.
Initial plans indicate The Borough will also have a clubhouse with a fitness center, an indoor pickleball court, an outdoor pool and lounge, guest suites, a clubroom, workshop and more.
The single-family additions will have 64 conventional lots and six rear-loaded lots, with the conventional lots ranging from 67 to 85 feet wide. The Monument Hills plan is similar in design to Tamarack Ridge in Iowa City, said Mike Welch, owner of Welch Design and Development.
A proposal to rezone the property to a low-density single-family residential designation could reach the Iowa City Planning & Zoning Commission by June. Barring setbacks, the construction could begin by the end of the year with an estimated project completion in 2024.
The public learned of more information regarding the development at a Good Neighbor open house meeting May 25. No formal presentation took place.
Last December, Iowa City Council approved construction of a senior living facility and open space dedication near Hickory Hill Park. Friends of Hickory Hill Park, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the park as a natural sanctuary, supported the final of the plan.