St. Anthony’s Retirement Community breaks ground

St. Anthony’s-a Catholic Retirement Community broke ground the morning of November 7; the retirement community located on 68th Street between Holmes and Troost is projected to open Fall 2018. Pictured helping break ground are 5th District councilman Lee Barnes, Jr. Vice Chair of the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee of Kansas City, Mark Ledom, project developer with his son Matt Ledom (not pictured), Steve Hilliard, of Catholic Charities, Bishop James V. Johnston of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, 6th District councilman Scott Taylor, Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Committee and Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Jobs Committee, and 6th District councilman Kevin McManus, Vice Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. (Megan Marley/Key photo)

By Megan Marley

Ground has been broken on the first Catholic retirement community on the Missouri side of Kansas City.

“It’s the first sponsored Catholic retirement community in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and we’re pretty excited about the trust they have given us in doing this,” said Mark Ledom, who is developing the property with his son Matt Ledom, at the groundbreaking November 7. Councilmen, bank representatives, Bishop Johnston, engineers, architects, workers and other members of the community were present for the ceremony.

Located on 68th Street between Troost and Holmes, St. Anthony’s – A Catholic Retirement Community will be a moderately priced, gated community featuring 120 independent living units in a nine-story tower, 30 assisted living units and 50 memory care units in single floor buildings; 96 of these apartments will feature floor to ceiling glass windows, much like the One Light apartments in downtown Kansas City. Community amenities will include covered parking, fitness and wellness center, cafeteria and bistro, spa, dog park, community garden, social rooms, and a chapel served by resident priests.

St. Anthony’s will have an advisory board of diocesan representatives, Catholic Charities personnel and clergy from nearby parishes. A percentage of the net operating income will go to Catholic Charities to for charitable purposes.

“Our role as a sponsor of the project is representation on the governance board of the property,” said Jarrod Sanderson, executive director of Housing Development for Catholic Charities. “We weren’t asked for financial assistance in the construction or development, but we are as part of the agreement going to receive a portion of the net operating income as a donation to support our services generally.”

Both Ledoms are active Catholics, which is part of their motivation to involve Catholic Charities.

“I basically grew up with the Ledom family in Lawrence, and knowing their passion for the Catholic faith growing up, that has not stopped with Mark, and he continues to have a passion to give back to the Church,” said Chris Ice, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities. “He saw the opportunity to express his Catholic faith and to give back to the Church.”

“Mark’s dedication to the Catholic faith and to service generally was a big driving factor here, and it matched up to what we do and want to do and strive to do, not only for seniors but for the general communities, so I think the two visions aligned pretty well,” Sanderson said.

There are 22 Catholic churches and around 40 other religious denomination churches within a seven-mile radius of St. Anthony’s, and there are currently no memory care units in the primary market area. The Ledoms strategically picked that spot to reach out to a certain number of the Catholic and other Christian churches in the area that “demonstrate a need for senior housing at an affordable rate,” Ice said.

Unlike many such communities, St. Anthony’s will have no ‘buy-in’ costs. Mark Ledom said all units are offered as month-to month, open-ended leases, while still being at or below competition on pricing.

“This will be a month to month rental facility, so it won’t be a buy-in which eliminates a lot of people who might have the ability to live here,” said Ledom.

He also said that it will be a gated community with 24/7 security, for the safety of residents.

“If you think we’re doing that because we’re on Troost, you’re absolutely mistaken, that’s not why we’re doing this. We’re doing this because the families of the elderly like to know their parents are secure. You can go out to the most expensive zip code in Johnson County,” Ledom said, “they have a 24/7 security guard you can’t get past.”

Ledom said the independent living tower is expected to open in fall 2018. The assisted living and memory care units will open winter 2018/2019.

“The only way St. Anthony’s can’t be successful is two things: the Catholic Church ceases to exist after 2000—That’s not going to happen now is it, Bishop—or we quit aging,” Ledom concluded. “So assuming that we’re all going to continue to age, the Church is going to be around, this is going to be here for decades to come.”

Further information and rates will be available at stanthonyskc.com.

 

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Monday
December 18, 2017
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph