Barrington property targeted for senior housing

Belton Court, shown during the auction for the property in 2011. Belton Court, shown during the auction for the property in 2011.

Belton Court was the center of attention during the Oct. 2011 public auction of the former Zion Bible Institute property.

Belton Court was the center of attention during the Oct. 2011 public auction of the former Zion Bible Institute property.

The former campus of Barrington College and the Zion Bible College could play host to a continuing car retirement community in the future.

Representatives from the Peregrine Group LLC approached the Barrington Town Council at its meeting on Monday night and shared some early plans for the redevelopment of the property at 27 Middle Highway.

According to documents filed with the town, the 39.5-acre parcel would be redeveloped into a mix of independent living units, some assisted living units and some part-time skilled nursing care units. Belton Court, a large mansion that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, would be repurposed as the “central hub” for the retirement community.

Barrington Town Council President June Speakman said she supports the redevelopment of the property into a retirement community.

“I think it’s a great concept,” Ms. Speakman said, adding that for years, many senior residents in Barrington have asked local officials to develop a retirement community in town.

“This would fulfill a need that exists in Barrington…”

The documents filed with the town show that there would be approximately 175 to 200 independent living units (likely rental/apartment units); approximately 50 assisted living rooms; approximately 25 skilled nursing/memory care rooms; and 32 fifty-five and older clustered cottage units which would likely be for-sale.

“Upon entering, healthy adults can reside independently in single-family homes, apartments or condominiums. When assistance with everyday activities becomes necessary, they can move into assisted living or nursing care facilities,” stated a summary.

The redevelopment will require a change in the zoning for that piece of property. Currently the former bible college campus is zoned recreation and education. The town planner said a new type of zoning would likely have to be created for the development.

Shineharmony Holdings, Inc. purchased the property, which is located in the north end of Barrington, in Oct. 2011 for $3.5 million. There had been rumors that the property was going to be used for a private school after the purchase, but the buildings remained vacant.

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