Busy year expected for development in Ferdinand

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

FERDINAND — The new year will bring new housing developments to Ferdinand, as well as a new park.

If everything goes according to plan, the town’s north side will see a 16-lot subdivision and new apartments take shape thanks to private developers. Another private developer will open a senior living center on the Sisters of St. Benedict property, and on the town’s east side, the parks department will fix up the Old Town Lake thanks to a grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Town officials are particularly excited about the housing developments.

“Since I came on in 2014, [housing] has been a talking point,” Town Manager Chris James said. “We’re looking to grow Ferdinand, and it took until really this past year to get that started.”

In 2018, Kerstiens Homes & Designs of Jasper acquired land along Ferdinand’s Industrial Park Road that the company platted into a 16-lot subdivision dubbed Country Ridge Estates.

In fall 2018, Kerstiens received final approval from the town and began the street work.

Todd Kerstiens of Kerstiens Homes & Designs said the weather has slowed street construction, but he still expects to be ready to build homes in late summer 2019. The homes will be in the $180,000 to $250,000 range, and built according to the purchaser’s wishes. For more information, Kerstiens can be contacted at 482-5072.

Also on the town’s north side, father-son duo Randy and Dakota Begle plan to add another apartment building — Royal Ridge Apartments -— to their development on Industrial Park Road The duo opened their first apartment building on the spot in 2017. Now, the pair plans to add additional apartments and some duplexes to the site.

For the town’s older citizens, the latter months of 2019 will see the opening of Scenic Hills at The Monastery, a more than 70,000-square-foot facility that will replace the current Scenic Hills Care Center, located at 311 E. First St., when it opens late in 2019.

The new facility will be located near the corner of St. Benedict Drive and East Fifth Street. Trilogy Health Services LLC began work on the new facility in 2017. Scenic Hills at the Monastery will offer skilled nursing, memory care, short-term care and adult day services, as well as new assisted living services for area seniors who are still mostly independent.

Scenic Hills at the Monastery, which Trilogy Health Services has said will serve 129 residents, will also include an on-site chapel, partnered activities with the Sisters of St. Benedict and a special memory care neighborhood called The Trilogy Village for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory issues.
In the public sector, the town will begin revitalizing Old Town Lake as soon as the Indiana Department of Environmental Management gives final approval for the plans. The plan includes a one-mile walking trail, bathrooms and a shelter house.

Improvements to the lake area have been on the town’s radar since the 1990s, but the project picked up speed in 2016 when the parks department applied for a grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The project was awarded a $200,000 matching grant, which means the town must also come up with $200,000 or in-kind materials or labor for the project,

James said the town hopes to open the project for bids in the next few weeks.

“We expect 2019 to be a busy year,” James said.




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