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Knute Nelson's Crystal Brook breaks ground in Park Rapids

Representatives from Knute Nelson, City of Park Rapids, Lakes Area Chamber Ambassadors, Hubbard County, and developer Innovative Builders break ground on the Crystal Brook Senior Living facility in Park Rapids. (Kevin Cederstrom/Enterprise)

Mark Anderson, President and CEO of Knute Nelson, told community stakeholders at a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for Crystal Brook Senior Living facility the company is "very excited to have the opportunity to build here and bring Crystal Brook to Park Rapids."

Crystal Brook Senior Living will be an 88-unit senior living community and consist of 69 independent/assisted living apartments and 19 memory care assisted living units. A town center is the central focus of the building that will include a community room, fitness room, salon, bistro, card/club room, dining room, lobby, activity room, outdoor terrace, resident storage, spa and underground parking with a car wash. The project will create approximately 40 jobs or 28 full-time equivalent positions with a total cost of $18,100,000.

Knute Nelson plans to use an "aging in place" housing model, also known as a hybrid senior lifestyle model, and specifically impacts the independent living and assisted living areas. This style of living allows the resident to start in the independent living and add services as needed without having to move to another area of the building.

Over 100 people attended Thursday's groundbreaking located at 1006 Crocus Hill Street off of South Henrietta Avenue and across from Itasca-Mantrap Co-Op.

Anderson thanked numerous people who helped make the project possible in Park Rapids, starting with the City of Park Rapids, the council and staff for moving this project forward. Itasca-Mantrap Cooperative, their board, Mike Monsrud and the staff there. Todd Township Board, Hubbard County Economic Development, and the Park Rapids Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors.

Anderson also recognized the Knute Nelson Home Care team that has been, "serving this great community for five-plus years and have been instrumental in keeping the pulse of the community for aging adults."

Pastor Steve Norby administered a blessing during the groundbreaking on behalf of all the chaplains who will be serving Crystal Brook.

"For a facility that is dedicated to care for the whole person, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially and to be a part of this is really an honor," Norby said. "Imagine all the people that are going to be blessed through this facility. This is a bigger day than I think all of us realize."

Dave Collins of the Hubbard County Regional Economic Development Commission stated that back in 2008 the community looked at the housing needs for the entire county and the communities within and a facility like Crystal Brook was identified back then and that it would be an asset to Park Rapids.

"The demographics and growth trends show that this is an area that we're going to continue to see more seniors locating here for a lot of reasons," Collins explained. "It's becoming a destination spot for the quality of life, the cost of living, the recreation and outdoors is obvious, the arts we are seeing in our community continues to develop and the excellent healthcare system we have that continues to develop and expand. A lot of good reasons to locate here and I think this is going to make us a destination for a lot of retirees and seniors in the future."

Knute Nelson's general contractor and partner for the Crystal Brook Senior Living project is Innovative Builders, Inc. of Alexandria. Construction is anticipated to begin in June and span 13 months. Crystal Brook Senior Living is anticipated to open for occupancy in Fall 2018.