Hard hats and gold shovels were broken out Friday in celebration of a new retirement community being built in Fresno.
Paintbrush Senior Living will be an assisted living and memory-care facility owned by Paintbrush LLC and Ponderosa Communications Group. The community will be licensed as a residential care facility for the elderly.
"There is a need and will continue to be a need for memory support and continued care," said Veronica Sibley, a sales manager for Seniority Inc., which will manage the property.
The 74,000-square-foot facility will be at 4390 W. Ashlan Ave., just west of Highway 99 in Fresno. Of the 100 apartment units, 25 will be for memory support with the rest dedicated to assisted living.
The studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments will be between 365 and 750 square feet with a sliding price scale that has not yet been set. Enrollment will open in about six months with a minimum age of 62, project officials say.
"The idea is to provide a creative assisted living lifestyle for our baby boomers in Fresno," said Dennis Bacopulos, a consultant with Paintbrush LLC. The name Paintbrush came from Indian paintbrush, the red-orange flower that is native to the western U.S.
Paintbrush LLC was founded in 2005 to create this retirement community, said Bacopulos. Financing took longest, he said, but plans for the building were drawn up four years ago.
Douglas Pancake Architects, an Irvine company designing the building, has estimated the project to cost $11.8 million and will be completed in summer 2015.
Modeled after the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, amenities will include a dining room, multipurpose room, theater, bistro, fitness center, salon, community garden, and outdoor barbecues and pizza oven.
Josh Smith, the project manager for Douglas Pancake, said that a unique touch for Paintbrush retirement community will be "memory boxes" in the memory support corridor. Families can fill the boxes with items from the patient's past to direct them to their room.
"What happens with memory support patients is that often they will remember something that happened 40 to 50 years ago," said Smith, "but they won't remember what they had for breakfast."
Bacopulos also said the company hopes to have shops and a pharmacy on frontage property owned by Paintbrush LLC.
Several local businesses and families make up Paintbrush LLC, Bacopulos said, and is led by cousins Kristi Mattes, vice president of Ponderosa, and Frank Bigelow, a Republican state Assembly member from O'Neals.
Helen Tracey-Noren contributed to Word on the Street. The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6279, htraceynoren@fresnobee. com, or @HtraceyNoren on Twitter.