CUMBERLAND — The Allegany County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously last week to sell 21 acres of land in Rawlings to the developer of a senior living complex planned for the site.
The county agreed to sell the 21 acres for $47,600 to Barton Health Care Management Inc. The development group includes local businessman Dave Weimer and Jeff Metz, a senior living administrator and co-owner of Egle Nursing Home in Lonaconing.
The latest purchase brings the total acreage acquired by Barton Health Care Management to roughly 500 along U.S. Route 220.
It was announced in the fall of 2019 that the complex would include independent living apartments and cottages, an assisted living facility and a skilled nursing center. Metz said the skilled nursing center will have 101 beds with the assisted living facility accommodating 40 to 60 residents.
"Like with many things going on now, COVID-19 has slowed everything down with the state of Maryland," Metz said. "We don't anticipate any issues but it slowed things down. Hopefully it will be ready to start (construction) in the spring (of 2021) out there. That is the goal. COVID has backed everybody up but it is coming along."
The complex will be located in an area known as Cumberland Chase, which was under consideration for a residential subdivision at one time.
"It's an exciting project," Metz said. "We picked up all the residential land at the site. That land that was transferred from the county is the primary land to be used for the long term care and assisted living campus."
An official name for the planned senior living complex in Rawlings has not been determined, according to Metz.
It was also announced in January that the Lions Center for Rehabilitation and Extended Care Inc. on Haystack Mountain had signed a letter of intent to sell that entity to the investment group on U.S. Route 220.
Metz said planning continues to relocate the Lions Center to the Route 220 site.
"We are just finishing up the process we are going through with Lions and we are making good progress," Metz said.
Built in 1969, the 101-bed Lions Center is located at 901 Seton Drive, behind the new Allegany High School. The facility contains 65,000 square feet.
Ed Crossland, a member of the Lions Center Board of Directors, told the Times-News in January, "It is no longer feasible nor is it practical to continue to operate a small, stand-alone nonprofit nursing home.”
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