Following three years of planning and construction, a new skilled-nursing and assisted-living community is opening its doors in Canal Winchester, the seventh such property for central Ohio operator MacIntosh Management Co. LLC.

Administrator Craig Nelson said the $15 million, 87,000-square-foot Canal Winchester Rehabilitation Center, Skilled Nursing & Assisted Living community at 6800 Gender Road could begin accepting residents as early as next week. A grand opening was held Jan. 18.

"Canal Winchester has an aging population, and we think it's an underserved area," Nelson said. "There's not a lot of choice in the area. And it's a growing community that needs jobs, and it may need some placement for seniors that's convenient for families to visit."

Construction on the two-story facility, which has 75 skilled-nursing beds and 45 assisted-living apartments, began in late summer 2016. It sits on 7.5 acres in a largely residential neighborhood a few blocks south of Groveport Road.

MacIntosh, based in Hilliard, used a market study to help guide it to the Canal Winchester location, Nelson said. It also acquired the 100-bed Columbus West Park Nursing Rehabilitation Center in Columbus' Westgate neighborhood and renamed it West Park Rehabilitation Center, Skilled Nursing and Memory Care.

"We are very purposeful in the way we designed this building to have a lot of common space and a lot of room and amenities that our aging population is starting to demand in these types of settings," Nelson said.

MacIntosh also operates communities in New Albany, Hilliard, Circleville, Grove City and the Whetstone Rehabilitation Center, Skilled Nursing & Assisted Living on Olentangy River Road in Columbus.

This isn't the first skilled-nursing, rehabilitation or assisted-living center to open in Canal Winchester, but it is the first to have all three services under one roof, development director Lucas Haire said.

Altercare of Canal Winchester Post-Acute Rehabilitation Center, 6725 Thrush Drive, opened in 2008 and the Inn at Winchester Trail, 6401 Winchester Blvd., opened in 2016 and expanded last year, he said.

"There has been a significant amount of senior care facilities completed in the community," Haire said. "This should meet the needs of our residents for the foreseeable future."

MacIntosh's Canal Winchester community will employ about 130 people, Nelson said. Much of the work is focused on rehabilitation services.

"Maybe they've had a remarkable health-care event, like surgery, a knee replacement or a cardiac event," Nelson said. "They need a little bit of care before they return home. That's the bulk of our business -- to get people back home where they want to be."

MacIntosh worked with the city's planning and zoning commission and discussed its location in an existing neighborhood. The site is surrounded by the Villages of Westchester.

"Homeowners wanted to ensure that the character of their neighborhood would not change," Haire said.

"MacIntosh was willing to work with the surrounding owners by providing additional landscaping and controls for their lighting to be the best neighbor possible."

Haire said the community has "a nice residential feel" and "fits well with the residential character of the area."

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