Major Expansion at Lambeth House

9 January 2012

The addition of the St. Anna’s Residence & Wellness Center at Lambeth House will provide housing and a holistic center for senior living.

Lambeth House to add wellness center in $18 million expansion


9 January 2012

After years of discussion, an $18 million expansion and reconstruction project is scheduled to begin this month at Lambeth House, a not-for-profit residential community for people 62 and older in Uptown New Orleans. The work will include adding housing for people with memory disorders as well as a 50,000-square-foot building that will host a wellness center.

An expansion at Lambeth House in New Orleans will involve construction of a new 50,000-square-foot building that will house a wellness center.

The work is scheduled to be done in two waves, both expected to wrap up by fall 2013. The wellness center, which Lambeth officials say is unique to the area, will include a lap pool, an art studio, a gym and a salon. The building, to be located at 170 Broadway, will also include 56 new private rooms for residents who need nursing care.

The second phase of the project includes renovations to the nursing care center, where 11 assisted-living apartments will be added as well as 14 rooms for a memory support program to house residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, an area where the facility has seen a high demand.

“The more quality places you have, it sure helps with the stress level of a lot of families around here,” said Greg Wyrick, who serves as president of the board of Broadway Services, Inc., which oversees the management and administration of Lambeth House.

Wyrick said Lambeth officials had discussed the improved nursing care facilities for the past five years but were slowed by the bursting of the real estate bubble in 2008.

But now the expansion has largely been driven by the center’s recent affilation with St. Anna’s Residence, a nonprofit, nondenominational nursing home in the Lower Garden District. The 162-year-old center will relocate to the new building at 170 Broadway, where about 30 residents are expected to transition into Lambeth House.

Magdalen Blessey Bickford, a member of the Lambeth House board of directors, said the expansion will give the combined facilities the chance to provide “a level of care that we so long to do” with Alzheimer’s patients.
“There’s a particular market there that is shared with a very small constituency, and this is a way to make that share of the constituency even stronger and deeper and richer,” Bickford said.
While it is unique to the region, Bickford said, the wellness center follows a national trend in the continuing care industry, which has been “very much moving in a similar direction, and some of the big expansions on the West Coast and the East Coast certainly are a parallel to what we’re doing.”

St. Anna’s typically has up to 35 residents, she said, and will grow to about 56. The new wellness center will carry the St. Anna’s name.
From what she’s heard, Bickford said, residents are “a little bit cautious of change, but all in all we’ve seen a very positive reaction and anticipation.”

“They’re looking forward to all the bells and whistles that are going to come with the new facility. Certainly there are some very considerable bells and whistles, so I think it’s an exciting opportunity,” she said.
A refinancing of the current debt of Lambeth House will put the total financing of the project at over $40 million. Wyrick said the project is being financed by Whitney Bank.
To Joe Exnicios, the bank’s president, the project stands out from others happening in the city because “this is not a rehab of a damaged property, or somebody trying to do something as a result of Hurricane Katrina. This is the local economy finally getting to a point where there’s a certain amount of optimism out there.”
“This is hopefully the beginning of some types of projects that we’ll see in the future that really aren’t going to be reliant upon incentives, but are going to be reliant upon the health and vitality of the local economy,” Exnicios said.

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