Chicago company to build senior community at former Hickory Chase site in Hilliard

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group
This rendering illustrates the proposed clubhouse at Verena at Hilliard.

Chicago-based Green Courte Partners, through Green Courte Real Estate Partners IV, announced March 23 it plans to develop a senior community to be called Verena at Hilliard on property that was once part of the ill-fated Hickory Chase development. 

According to a release from the company, Green Courte Partners has acquired a partly completed 4.5-story, 159-apartment independent senior-living community on 20 acres at 4604 Hickory Chase Way. The property is in Hilliard, adjacent to the Hilliard branch of Columbus Metropolitan Library. 

City officials said they are pleased to see further development at the site. 

“This property previously was planned to be home to a senior-living community, so (we are) pleased to see Green Courte Partners coming to Hilliard with this kind of quality development,” said David Meadows, city development director. 

“The location near amenities such as the library, medical facilities, green space and retail shopping will provide seniors with a unique and attractive place to live active lifestyles,” Meadows said. 

Because of the previous groundwork, no further zoning considerations are necessary and Green Courte Partners can advance without going before the city's planning and zoning commission, said David Ball, director of communications for Hilliard.

Green Courte Partners wants to complete development of the residential building and convert some of the largest existing two-bedroom apartments into more affordably priced one-bedroom apartments.

It also plans to repurpose existing square footage into dedicated programming space with a theater, fitness center, craft/activities room, home healthcare office and salon, according to the release. 

In addition, Green Courte Partners wants to build a 9,000-square-foot clubhouse that will provide residents with a centralized dining room and bistro. The company plans to begin building single-story senior cottages on the property’s excess developable land once the residential building and clubhouse are completed. 

The senior community will be operated by True Connection Communities, also owned by Green Courte Partners. 

“We’re pleased to begin construction in the coming weeks on Verena at Hilliard so we can provide this much-anticipated and highly attractive living choice to active seniors in the central Ohio market,” Andrew Alexander, CEO of Green Courte Residential Holdings LLC and a managing director at Green Courte Partners, said in the release. 

Erickson Retirement Communities broke ground in April 2008 for what was planned to be a $100 million luxury-retirement community called Hickory Chase on the east side of Leap Road, south of Davidson Road. 

But within a year, and in the midst of the Great Recession, the Baltimore-based company filed for bankruptcy. 

During the next decade, myriad reorganizations and investments, spearheaded by California-based Greenwich Investors Hickory Chase LLC, resulted in construction of the new Hilliard library branch, the Norwich Springs Health Campus, a senior community by Trilogy Health Services and The Greyson, an apartment complex, on what would have been Hickory Chase. 

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekCorvo