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170-unit, 26-acre senior living community planned for Forest Acres

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Long-term care helps people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.
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Long-term care helps people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.

A Florida Company is planning a $60 million senior living community on 26 acres in Forest Acres.

The site is near Richland Mall, just north of the former Carolina Children’s Home between Sunnyside Drive and Maiden Lane.

The project includes 170 units, including 40 rental independent living cottages, 88 assisted living units and 42 memory care units. It could house up to about 300 people.

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It is the first South Carolina project for Orlando, Fla.-based Tuscan Gardens, which operates three senior living communities in the Sunshine State.

“South Carolina is among the other few states we’ve have had our eye on for years,” said partner Charles C. “Buddy” Smith Jr. “It is under-supplied with the quality products we provide.”

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Smith, a Charleston native and University of South Carolina graduate, said construction should begin by the end of the year and take 18 to 20 months.

The company’s research showed that the site’s location, surrounded by the Melrose Heights, Heathwood and Lake Katherine neighborhoods, in addition to Forest Acres, was primed for a senior living facility.

“We look for supply and demand,” he said, “and that area was very desirous for us.”

Some of the site was flooded in 2015. Smith said the company worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that the buildings would be constructed on land above the 100-year flood line.

“We’re well away” from the areas most prone to flooding, he said.

Smith added that the company plans to leave about half of the tract as green space at the request of the city of Forest Acres.

Jeff Wilkinson has worked for The State for both too long and not long enough. He’s covered politics, city government, history, business, the military, marijuana and the Iraq War. Jeff knows the weird, wonderful and untold secrets of South Carolina. Buy him a shot and he’ll tell you all about them.
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