PUNTA GORDA — Cloudberry Lodge, a new assisted living facility planned for Punta Gorda, is getting closer to becoming a reality on Burnt Store Road near the Burnt Store Presbyterian Church.
The 96-bed facility has been in the works for years now, planned for around 16 acres of property owned by Burnt Store ALF-MC, an authorized agent for the church.
Wednesday, council members approved the first reading to annex the Charlotte County land into the city limits.
“We’re very excited because we’ve been working on (this project) for about three years,” Mike Huston, chairman of the senior care facility committee for the church, told the Sun. “We are (finally) at a stage where we think we are going to see the dirt turn and construction start. We still have to go through some more procedures with the city before we can ever get a construction permit.”
The City Council also approved the first reading of rezoning the land — properties described as 26150 Angelica Road, 26021 Cuneo Road and 26041 Cuneo Road — to accommodate the facility’s number of units.
A second reading of these and other ordinances related to the property need to be approved by the City Council before any ground can be broken at the site.
Huston said they are hoping to break ground this summer with an estimated 12-month construction timeline.
“Hopefully we will be able to open summer or fall of 2021,” Huston said.
The church will serve as landlord for the independent facility.
“The developer (Mueller Development Group) will be leasing property from the church (and) building the assisted care facility,” Huston said. “It will be for the community ... not restricted to church members or anything like that. It will be an investor-owned operation but we think having it on our property gives us an opportunity to participate and assist the people that live there.”
Huston said the church will provide ministry and volunteer workers for the facility but will not be directly involved in the operation and management.
The second reading of the annexation is planned for the April 1 City Council meeting. The other readings required for the property are still being determined.