Construction of a unique $7.5 million assisted living community for 90 residents is underway on the city’s far east side. Tucson-based Innovative Senior Living Inc. is developing the nine-home complex that will be known as The Villas at Houghton.
Three of the 10-bedroom homes are under construction at 844 N. Whispering Rabbit, one block south of Speedway Blvd. on the east-side of Houghton Road. The first three units are to be completed in October.
The cluster of homes are in a self-contained subdivision to provide more personal care in a home-style setting instead of an institutional facility. Throughout Pima County, there are more than 360 smaller homes that serve 10 residents, but most of the homes are not clustered in one neighborhood.
Innovative Senior Living (ISL) develops home-like, assisted living/memory care environments for older adults with a high level of health, social and support services. This is the company’s second project, the first being The Villas at La Canada, 6899 N. La Canada Drive. That project was completed in 2008 and serves 100 residents. It also is the company’s headquarters.
ISL’s principals are founders/owners Klaus Axen and Robert S. Larson, and general manager Charlene Simonson.
The Villas at Houghton will eventually employ about 75 people and will generate $400,000 in fees and taxes to the city of Tucson, according to ISL officials. Once all nine homes are complete and full, the operation will spend over $3 million a year locally for wages, goods and services.
“Referral sources and prospective residents and their families asked us to build an east-side location,” said Axen. “We are happy to be in a position to grow our business in this tight lending environment.”
The city approved the construction of The Villas at Houghton after a lengthy zoning review process. City land use code allows assisted living homes in all residential zones. However, no developer ever submitted plans for nine homes at one subdivision.
“From the very beginning, we thought the city of Tucson would see the importance of this project,” Axen said. “We are going to give the local economy a boost, pay fees into the city, employ folks and take care of those who are unable to care for themselves.”