Life plan community Jefferson’s Ferry secured tax-exempt bonds from the Town of Brookhaven Local Development Corporation and on Dec. 10 broke ground on an $89M expansion and renovation project during a private, socially distanced groundbreaking ceremony at One Jefferson Ferry Drive, South Setauket. Once completed, the 165,000 square-foot project will “enhance the lifestyle and experience for current residents and appeal to the desires and needs of a whole new generation of Long Islanders planning for retirement,” according to Jefferson’s Ferry CEO Bob Caulfield.

The expansion will add 60 new independent living one- and two-bedroom, plus den apartment homes with open floor plans to Jefferson’s Ferry’s existing 220 apartments and 28 cottages. A new marketplace café, bistro-bar, destination dining room with alternating types of cuisines, and other enhanced services and amenities will cater to both current and future residents. 

The new Healthy Living Center will incorporate a modern and fully-equipped gym and fitness room with access to professional trainers, plus a state of the art wellness & rehabilitation center. Residents can continue to access preventive care from a team of wellness experts in audiology, internal medicine, cardiology, dentistry, podiatry, psychiatry and ear, nose and throat specialists. Lab services and assistance with making medical appointments and filling prescriptions are also available.

“Our community is designed for aging better for longer, whether you live in independent living, assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing,” explained Caulfield. 

The construction project includes an addition to the existing Vincent Bove Health Center, including a new state of the art Assisted Living building specifically designed for residents living with Alzheimer’s dementia and other memory impairing diseases. Existing dining, activities and community spaces in the assisted living and the skilled nursing center will be renovated to allow for more space and create a fresh, open-air feel.

Called “The Journey Toward Renewal,” the project is part of the award-winning community’s larger strategic initiative launched in 2018. “We’re building on a promise made by our founders in 2001,” said Caulfield. “We were the first to offer Long Islanders the all-inclusive services of a life plan community — also called a continuing care retirement community — and we’ve been delivering on our promise to help seniors thrive and age successfully ever since.”

Jefferson’s Ferry is an active lifestyle community that promotes dignity, privacy, individuality and independence. The physical design of Jefferson’s Ferry and the diverse programming and luxury amenities make staying active easy for residents as they age. The onsite care continuum offers security and peace of mind.

Supporting Long Island’s Economy

In August 2020, Jefferson’s Ferry was awarded low-cost energy by the ReCharge NY energy program to support a multi-million dollar expansion and renovation project. The state-run program supports businesses and nonprofits that commit to add jobs, expand operations, or otherwise invest in their local communities.

Jefferson’s Ferry currently employs 350 people and is expected to add 41 jobs in exchange for 435 kilowatts of power for a seven-year period. “The cost savings are significant to Jefferson’s Ferry, and, in turn, to residents living on fixed incomes,” said Caulfield. “Reducing our energy costs through this program goes a long way in helping us control the amount of fees we charge our members, giving them peace of mind about their future.”

Interest in Jefferson’s Ferry’s new apartments is high. Caulfield said total reservation deposits from prospective residents required by the New York State Department of Health to obtain approval to start construction exceed requirements prior to securing tax-exempt bonds issued through the Town of Brookhaven Local Development Corporation (LDC). 

“The Brookhaven Local Development Corporation is pleased to play a small part in the expansion of this outstanding residence and health care facility,” said Frederick C. Braun III, chairman of the Brookhaven LDC.

Elissa Gargone, vice president of sales and marketing at Jefferson’s Ferry, said the benefits of living in a life plan community became more obvious during the pandemic, especially to Long Islanders and out-of-state seniors who are used to traveling and living active, social lives. 

“Our depositors miss their pre-pandemic social life,” said Gargone. “They miss their friends and they miss having access to activities and routines that give them purpose and joy. Jefferson’s Ferry provides safe access to the active lifestyle they’re accustomed to living.”

According to Gargone, Jefferson’s Ferry wastes no time making depositors feel at home. There are virtual wine pairing events, Zoom get-togethers to meet current residents, and webinars to help them prepare for the move. During the lockdown, Gargone and the marketing team packed and delivered bags of food and essential supplies to their doorsteps. “Depositors may not live in our community yet, but they’re part of the Jefferson’s Ferry family,” she said.

Attending the groundbreaking ceremony were Jefferson’s Ferry’s CEO Bob Caulfield, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Elissa Gargone and Project Manager Matthew Moroney; Jefferson’s Ferry Board Chair Vivian Viloria-Fisher and board member and Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright; Director of Economic Development and CEO Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and CEO Brookhaven Local Development Corporation (LDC) Town of Brookhaven Lisa M.G. Mulligan; and KBE Building Corp. Project Manager James Glaser.

Additional Jefferson’s Ferry project partners include KDA Architects, Tritec Building Company, HJ Sims and Merlino Design.

Visit www.jeffersonsferry.org/expansion for more information.

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