Lexington might get a new nursing home in the Meadowthorpe neighborhood off Leestown Road.
Solomon Lee Van Meter, the founder and former owner of The Breckinridge, a home for Alzheimer's patients near Liberty Drive and Fortune Drive, has applied for a zone change that would allow him to build another nursing and Alzheimer's care center on Antique Drive, just behind a Goodwill and other shops on Leestown Road.
The 3.75-acre plot of land has been vacant for years, said James Stone, chairman of the Meadowthorpe Neighborhood Association's Development Review Committee. There were plans at one point to put a warehouse on the lot, Stone said.
Van Meter said he will talk to the neighborhood association about his plans during their Aug. 11 meeting.
Stone said the neighborhood group has not yet talked about the nursing home, but he and at least one other resident are OK with the project. The development would help keep the area clean, he said.
"There's a lot of trash that blows down through there," Stone said. "They can't get every little piece of chewing gum paper, but they pick up the big stuff every time before they mow."
The land is currently zoned for wholesale and warehouse businesses, which allows parking structures, farm equipment repair lots and truck terminals. The proposed change would make the land a neighborhood business zone, which allows businesses that are typically in residential areas, such as banks, schools, libraries and funeral parlors. The Urban County Government Planning Commission will consider the proposed change at a public hearing Aug. 27.
If approved, the nursing home would tentatively open in late fall 2016, although those plans are preliminary and might change, Van Meter said. The building would be about 18,000 to 20,000 square feet, with 28 to 32 beds in private rooms and a 56-space parking lot.
The assisted-living home would employ about 25 people and would probably focus on Alzheimer's and other dementia patients, although not exclusively, Van Meter said.
The triangular property is surrounded by businesses on two sides and a combination of duplexes and apartments on the third.
The nursing home would face the back of neighboring businesses, which include the Goodwill store and the Meadowthorpe Antique Mall.
Van Meter said northwest Lexington could benefit from an assisted-living home, and demand for nursing homes will continue to increase in the region.
The Kentucky Data Center at the University of Louisville projects that Lexington's population of people who are at least 70 years old will grow 47 percent by 2025.
"We are trying to figure out how to meet the demand that's undoubtedly coming," Van Meter said.