Being built at the site of the former North Side Hospital, 401 Princeton Road, the $13.5 million facility will be operated and managed by LP Johnson City LLC, in which Ballad Health has a 35 percent stake, and Louisville, Kentucky-based Signature Healthcare, which owns the remaining 65 percent.
Once finished, the operation will house 47 skilled nursing beds and 60 assisted living beds for senior citizens. Residents living there will have access to a coffee shop, salon, library and fitness area.
Officials from both companies said the project is coming along smoothly, with no significant delays.
“The construction is still pretty much on schedule. Of, course during the Northeast Tennessee unpredictable winter season, we always have our challenges. But the project is still within the schedule and is expected still to open late this year towards the end of 2018,” Jennie Hornsby, Signature Healthcare’s director of business partnerships in Northeast Tennessee, said.
“Nothing has changed as far as the facility and what it will offer. As far as the physical plan itself, it’s a very large operation and it’s sitting on a beautiful piece of property.”
Grace Pereira, Ballad’s vice president of nonacute care services, said the Princeton’s website should be ready to launch in about 45 days. It will provide information to prospective patients with information about the housing and services offered there.
“On that website, they’ll also find a phone number to communicate with us, particularly on the assisted living side if they want to discuss more about the floor plans or how to go about reserving a room for themselves or a loved one,” Pereira said.
Approximately 100 new jobs are expected to be generated once the facility becomes fully operational, and Hornsby said a temporary offsite informational office will be established for prospective residents, patients and employees to visit.
“As we get closer, on or about the first of July, we will have a temporary onsite office setup where we’ll be able to actually meet with anyone interested in the services there, especially the assisted living part part,” Hornsby said.
“They’ll be able to see design boards and hopefully a mock resident room so they can get a true picture of what those units will look like.”
Since the project was first announced in 2014, before Mountain States Health Alliance merged with Wellmont Health System to form Ballad Health, Pereira said the drawn-out process of the hospital merger did nothing to impact the project.
In September 2016, Mountain States and Signature Healthcare filed certificate of need with the Tennessee Services and Development Agency and gained approval to operate the assisted living center.
Peter Falk, Signature’s special projects director, told the Johnson City Press in July 2017 that an initial market study showed a large demand for assisted living and skilled nursing living quarters in this area.
All the assisted living rooms in the new Princeton will be private with just one bed. Officials have yet to say how much rent will be, but it will be certified for participation in Medicare.
In the past, officials said the new building will replace the 34-bed Princeton Transitional Care service inside Johnson City Medical Center and the inactive 13-bed Franklin Transitional Care facility at 400 North State of Franklin Road.