Sunrise Senior Living, now the fifth largest senior living provider in the U.S., is back and soon will start construction on a two-story assisted living facility at the southeast corner of Stoneridge Drive and Foothill Road.
To some who remember the "Soon Coming" signs on the vacant lot years ago, this is old news. Except it's not.
Sunrise opened in 1981 as a resident-centered new approach to senior care by founders Paul and Terry Klaassen, who applied for a permit to open one of its first facilities in Pleasanton in 1982.
In those days, building permits once issued had no expiration dates, an omission that was changed a few years later. For unknown reasons, Sunrise and the signs went away, much to the relief of neighbors in adjacent homes and condominiums.
Then Sunrise administrators resurfaced in 2008, asking for the permit they had been promised 33 years earlier.
Brian Dolan, assistant city manager who was the city's planning director at the time, assembled an informal task force that reviewed the new building plans with neighbors and determined they were largely in conformance with the originals. One of the big sticking points was that Sunrise originally wanted to build a three-story building, but agreed to limit it to two stories after objections from nearby homeowners.
Then, Sunrise disappeared again, mainly due to economic concerns over the recession then taking hold.
Suddenly last fall, the firm was back with detailed plans and still an active building agreement. Dolan and senior planner Shweta Bonn again reviewed Sunrise's documents, found them again in compliance with current codes, and issued the building permit. Work is scheduled to start in March.
Sunrise has impressive credentials. It now provides senior living services in more than 310 communities worldwide, serving nearly 30,000 residents in the U.S., Canada and the UK.
Sunrise of Pleasanton, its local name, will occupy 2-1/2 acres with a 64,000-square-foot building. The main driveway to its 53 parking spaces will be off Pleasant Hill Road with an exit-only driveway leading onto Foothill Road.
The levels of care to be offered at Sunrise of Pleasanton include assisted living and reminiscence (memory care). There will be 82 resident units, with 53 assisted living and 29 reminiscence units, with a total of up to 103 beds. Memory care will account for 35% of the total units.
Since resident units will not be equipped with kitchens, as at other Sunrise facilities, meals will be provided for all residents. Also not provided here will be intensive nursing, medical and psychiatric services. Sunrise administrators point out that residents will have access to more intensive services of these kind in the local area.
While the majority of resident transportation will be provided by family and friends, the Pleasanton operation will provide a bus/limo service.
Sunrise will offer numerous organized activities, arts and crafts, and exercise and wellness programs.
The facility will include activity and media rooms, a library, bistro, TVs and computers. The facility also will feature an open-air courtyard with two balconies for access to outside air and sunshine.