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Greenfield envisions new beginning for old Mount Carmel facility

May hearing gives everyone time to consider changes

Feb. 19, 2014

Greenfield — With the pending closure of the facility formerly known as Mount Carmel nursing home, city officials want to give maximum leeway to potential developers.

So the Plan Commission has begun the process of designating the entire area as "planned mixed use," the broadest development category available.

A public hearing will likely be held in May on the proposed change of Greenfield's land-use plan to encourage redevelopment of the 25 acres occupied still occupied by Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation.

That should give all parties involved time to consider the proposed change, said Chuck Erickson, Greenfield development and planning director.

Four of the 25 acres are already planned mixed use, but the rest of the Mount Carmel holdings at 5700 W. Layton Ave. are designated for a community facility. Another two acres, formerly used by the May Nursery Co., are currently designated "planned business" but would be reclassified as well.

The zoning itself will likely be changed once a development proposal emerges, Erickson said.

For Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke, the process brings about mixed feelings about the site.

"On one hand, it's very sad to see an institution that has been here so long close down," Neitzke said.

But in the long run, he realizes the Plan Commission is doing what needs to be done to make the property more marketable, he said, noting that the city has an interest in seeing that 25 unproductive acres are put to productive use.

"There has been interest from what I can tell about the site," Neitzke said.

That's not surprising given to the site's proximity to busy Layton Avenue and the road's excellent freeway access thanks to the full interchange with Interstate 894, he said.

The land is currently leased to Kindred.

Kindred announced its intention to close the facility in October and the number of residents has been going down as new homes are found for them. About two dozen residents remain in the 473-bed facility, administrators said Tuesday.

Neitzke said the home could be closed by early summer.

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