WESTPORT - A new housing facility to support seniors who are interested in both independent and assisted living may come to Westport by the end of 2012.
Adirondack Grand, a project started in 2009 by Bessboro Builders owner Dick Sherman and set to be built on the Westport Industrial Park which he also owns, is still in the development stages.
"We are in the process of connecting the management and developer with the lawyer to get everything together so we can proceed with the process," Sherman said. "The feasibility study for the project was completed in the summer of 2009 and the business plan was ready in November of the same year. Once we get through all of the logistics, then we will be eligible to start looking for investments."
Sherman has been working with the Westport town board on the project because the complex would require the extension of the current town sewer system, which may be able to be funded through grants.
"This project actually makes it possible for the funding for the town sewer extension because of the job creation possibilities," Sherman said, estimating that the new complex would provide at least 40 new jobs to the town.
Sherman said the housing would be according to varying needs.
"This is a three-part thing," he said. "You are looking at independent living facilities, assisted living facilities and memory care facilities, some of which take special care and people to provide the services. You are looking at providing people who are specialized in those fields, along with chefs, wait staff cleaning crews, management, promotional services - there is a very broad range of needs that can be filled here."
Sherman said he started looking for a way to use the land in the industrial park when he decided that looking for outside businesses was not going to be successful.
"We really struggled with that," he said. "We pursued a lot of different avenues, we would reach a certain point and they would all just fall away. The reality then set in that Clinton County, while they were helping to promote us, had all of these facilities already in place and trying to compete with those things was just futile."
Sherman also said there may have been another reason the companies were not coming to the site.
"I really feel that this project is inspired," he said. "It was all from God. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It has been full steam ahead from there."
Sherman said he is looking forward to the next phases of the project and bringing Adirondack Grand to life.
"You need to take the experience that you have had an make it happen," Sherman said. "We are going to take the steps one at a time and not worry about what is going to happen down the road until we get to that point. It would be wonderful to have this all done by the end of 2012, and I have strong hopes that we are going to be able to put this all together and start work the fall of this year."
Sherman said that as far as investors, he wanted to make sure that those who wanted to be a part of the project had the same passion for the work as he has.
"We are looking for people who have a passion about this kind of care, this project and this town," he said.