Brightview Senior Living is planning a 171-unit senior living community on the campus of Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore City, bringing a new university-based community model for retirement to the region.
A university-based community allows seniors to take advantage of campus resources like performances, art exhibits, and lectures while students gain access to mentors and intergenerational learning opportunities. Brightview’s community will include options for independent living, assisted living, and memory care.
“Brightview has had a reputation as a quality senior living provider in the surrounding counties for more than 20 years, and Baltimore City represents opportunity to provide even more residents with our vibrant Brightview lifestyle,” said Steve Marker, Brightview’s vice president of development.
Notre Dame of Maryland University is granting a long-term ground lease to Brightview on 3.7 acres where the former Knights of Columbus building stands and an adjacent property currently used for overflow parking on Homeland Avenue.
Construction could commence as early as 2024, and the plan would require a zoning modification with that process expected to begin early this year, Marker said.
A similar project in the area is also moving forward. Last year, the Baltimore County Council approved a text amendment allowing the concept in the Towson area, where the Edenwald Senior Living community is proposed to expand on the Goucher College campus.
Notre Dame’s 60-acre wooded campus is located in the Homeland residential neighborhood in northern Baltimore and about one mile from The Johns Hopkins University campus.
Brightview plans to enhance the existing connectivity between the Homeland neighborhood, the senior living community, and the main NDMU campus through the addition of a walking loop connecting Homeland Avenue to the sidewalk network on the university campus, Marker said.
Notre Dame president Marylou Yam said the project fits well with the university’s mission of lifelong learning and service to the community. The university already operates a Renaissance Institute program for lifelong learners over the age of 50, serving about 300 members. Renaissance members pay a semester or annual fee and can take an unlimited number of non-credit courses through the institute, and can audit one credit-bearing course each academic year tuition-free.
Institute members are also connected to resources within the university, including campus events and short-term study abroad trips. Several members recently joined university faculty, staff and students on an educational trip to London this month, for example.
“We’re building on a long tradition with Renaissance Institute of serving our seniors,” Yam said. “Our partnership Brightview is innovative. There are not that many around the country given that there are thousands of universities, and in Maryland there are none. It’s also good for the university, and beneficial for our students.”
Brightview is currently in high-level talks with the university to determine what the programming options would look like with their community. Overall, Yam said it would present an appealing senior living option for people who want to remain or come to the Baltimore area.
“The seniors will have an option to continue to reside in Baltimore city close to their family and friends, their house of worship, their healthcare options,” Yam said.
Notre Dame of Maryland University offers the only art therapy master’s degree program in the state, and also has a School of Pharmacy, a School of Nursing, and an occupational therapy doctorate.
All of these will benefit from new experiential learning opportunities for students.
“The collaboration with Notre Dame of Maryland University provided a great location with a unique partnership that will enhance the experience for our residents who want to live near the amazing educational and cultural attractions that the Notre Dame campus provides,” Marker said.