ALAMEDA -- Cardinal Point, the assisted living community on Mariner Square Drive, is aiming to open a sister facility along the Oakland-Alameda Estuary that would be geared toward helping seniors struggling with memory loss.
The new, 43,000-square-foot building with 52 individual living units is proposed for 2400 Mariner Square Loop, a property where a vacant building now stands that once housed the first ever Chevys Fresh Mex restaurant.
Along with individual living units, the building would have a cafe and activity rooms, plus an approximately 448-foot deck that would overlook the Estuary and the San Francisco Bay Trail. The three-story building would be located on the same block as the current Cardinal Point retirement community and would mirror its design features.
The Planning Board will consider the proposal Monday.
"The biggest benefit to seniors is the ability to increase the quality of their lives as they age," Michelle Moros, executive director of Cardinal Point, said in a June 18 letter to city officials. "Often times, it is overwhelming for a spouse and or families to care for a senior at home. In Alameda, there are very few options for seniors who need assisted living or memory care and are often forced into other choices that may not be beneficial to them or their loved ones."
What makes the need for the new facility especially great is that the number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease is expected to grow 30 percent from the current 5.4 million by 2025, Moros said.
"The need is here and the opportunity to offer the residents of Cardinal Point and Alameda the benefits of state-of-the-art assisted living and memory care is critically important to our local community," she said. "At the moment, if a resident develops a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease they have to move from their home here at Cardinal Point to a memory care community, which often means leaving the Island. This creates not only a real sense of loss to that resident but also to their families at a time when their loved one needs to be close and in familiar surroundings."
The former Chevys building, which was built in 1975 and has been vacant since 2006, would be torn down as part of the proposal.
While the overall property totals nearly an acre, just about half of it can be redeveloped since a portion of the site is under the Estuary and because it includes part of the Bay Trail, the walking and bicycle path that will eventually encircle the entire bay.
City officials are recommending the Planning Board approve the Cardinal Point expansion.
Among those also supporting the project are Mark Sorensen, executive director of the Alameda Chamber of Commerce, and A.V. Barnhill, owner of the nearby Barnhill Marina and Boatyard.
The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which has jurisdiction over land within 100 feet of the Bay, has already given preliminary approval to the project.
Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.
The Planning Board will meet at
7 p.m. Monday in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave.