Ground was broken on a new assisted living facility dubbed "Homestead at Towne Center" on Wednesday. Pictured are Health Care Managers, INC founder and director Steven Sell (left) with local officials. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Ground was broken on a new assisted living facility dubbed "Homestead at Towne Center" on Wednesday. Pictured are Health Care Managers, INC founder and director Steven Sell (left) with local officials. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday morning for a new assisted living center. Homestead at Towne Center will be located next to Van Wert Health North in the Towne Center complex and will be able to house 75 residents when finished.

Steven Sell, founder and director of Health Care Managers, INC, spoke about the new facility during Wednesday's ceremony.

"We chose the name 'Homestead' because we want this to be a family/home-like environment to take care of the more frail citizens of our community and also the people who have some memory loss that need a lot of help," said Sell.

Sell, whose family originally immigrated from England to Van Wert in 1853, started Health Care Managers, INC in 1984. While working on an assisted living project in Florida, he became aware of space available in Van Wert and the need for additional assisted living services.

When completed, the 58,000 square foot Homestead at Towne Center facility will be one story and will contain mostly private rooms. An area of the facility called "Memory Care" will be dedicated to those suffering from memory loss. The area will be specially designed to allow those with memory loss to acclimate into a healthy living environment, said Sell.

Dirt has already begun to move in the location that will house the facility. Equity Construction Solutions, who owns the property, are working on the project.

Sell said he estimates that Homestead at Towne Center will be completed by February 2021.

Van Wert Area Economic Development Director Stacy Adam said she and others have been working on bringing the assisted living facility to Van Wert for over a year and a half. She noted that it was a process that took a lot of cooperation.

"There were a lot of things behind the scenes that had to happen," said Adam. "I am feeling good about the support we had in the community."

An Energy Special Improvement District had to be created with the help of Van Wert City Council. Adam noted that Van Wert Health became the sponsor-project for that District. The local Port Authority was also used to create a lease opportunity for the project.

"Learning what we did for all of that, we positioned ourselves in a very strong position to offer those same kinds of incentives and use those same kinds of economic development tools going forward for future projects," added Adam.

While there are already several assisted living centers in Van Wert, Adam said with an aging population, she doesn't foresee there being an issue with filling the new facility.

"That was part of their analysis," said Adam. "[They looked] at the age of the community and needs, not only today but going forward, and deemed that certainly, this was a good option for Van Wert."

When the facility is complete, it will add 75-80 new jobs to the area and will bring in around $2 million in payroll.