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Germantown medical gateway continues to grow

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A residential facility for seniors is being planned for Germantown’s burgeoning medical gateway corridor at the intersection of Germantown Pkwy. and Wolf River Blvd.

The city’s Planning Commission voted unanimously earlier this month to rezone more than five acres of land adjacent to Baptist Memorial Rehabilitation Hospital to make way for the Watermark at Germantown senior living project.

The property, which is owned by Baptist, is currently zoned “general commercial” and was originally developed as a Walmart store.

The Walmart was demolished in 2004 and the property was divided into six lots.

Baptist is selling the land to California-based Avenida Partners Development Group for the future retirement community.

Commissioners agreed that the addition of retail to this part of the city, which now includes West Cancer Center, Stern Cardiovascular Center and Wolf River Plastic Surgery, would be a disparate use of the property.

“Putting retail here would be seriously detrimental to our traffic,” said Alderman Forrest Owens.

“This area has gone through a significant change,” Commissioner Mike Harless said. “It has gone from retail to medical.”

Commissioner William D. Bacon said rezoning the property to “retirement housing” would be a more “complimentary use.”

The city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen will now discuss the rezoning and vote on three readings.

Avenida recently opened the Cool Springs senior living facility in Franklin, Tenn. and has other senior residential facilities in Denver, Colo. and Oklahoma City, Okla.

According to Avenida’s website, the group is “currently focused on serving the needs of the rapidly growing senior housing market through the development of active, independent living apartment communities designed and managed exclusively for today’s healthy senior.”

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