To the Residents and Neighbors of Aberdeen Heights:
We are excited to bring added senior living to Kirkwood with our Phase II expansion of Aberdeen Heights, offering a faith-based, mission driven approach to care and services of seniors.
Our expansion of Aberdeen Heights would add 18 additional memory care suites, 16 additional private nursing care suites and 50 additional independent living residences along with a new chapel and a new and enhanced dining venues.
As with any time a change is proposed, there are people concerned about how those changes will impact their community. Some of our neighbors have expressed a concern that we have changed our plans from building 18 single-story independent living cottages to constructing a three-story apartment building. In addition, issues of traffic, noise, danger to pedestrians have been expressed.
Those issues were, interestingly, also the main concerns back in 2008 during the initial approval process by the City of Kirkwood. In fact, most of the current concerns being expressed now are almost identical to the concerns expressed during the initial planning for the current Aberdeen Heights campus.
PMMA developed the original Aberdeen Heights campus with a commitment of being a good neighbor, which meant addressing the concerns voiced during the planning stage of the project. Those concerns included green space, increased traffic, water run-off and the height of our buildings. I want to remind those voices of concern that we have been and will continue to be a good and considerate neighbor within the Kirkwood community.
Many of you may have heard of Simon Sinek, a highly regarded consultant and speaker. Mr. Sinek caught the imagination of CEOs across the country with his theory of the “WHY.” He defines the “WHY” as the single purpose, cause or belief that serves as the unifying, driving and inspiring force for any individual or organization. The “WHY” serves to inspire an organization’s products, services, marketing, culture, hiring and partnerships. At Aberdeen Heights and its sister PMMA communities, we begin every day, with the “WHY” – our mission. It is what makes PMMA and its employees a trusted resource for seniors and their families. It is the “driving and inspiring force” for what we do and how we provide our services. Moreover, it is the foundation upon which PMMA has been serving seniors for nearly seven decades.
As we were focusing on appropriately addressing the concerns voiced by some of our neighbors, I had an “aha moment!” We had not asked – nor answered – their main concern: “Why did we change from 18 cottages to a three-story, 50-unit apartment building?” One would think this is a simple question with a simple answer. Not necessarily so. It was not until we went back to PMMA’s “WHY” that the answer became clear…and it was in our mission statement: “To provide quality senior services guided by Christian values”
The key part of the “WHY” was the number of seniors we currently serve in Kirkwood and the clear need in our market area for additional services. This demand is evident in our current operations, as Aberdeen Heights has exceeded our occupancy goals for years and currently has a waitlist of interested prospective residents. Aberdeen Heights provides a high level of service, care and hospitality to seniors and we have earned a reputation as one of the very best providers in the region.
In addition, the community and area demand for needed senior living services was also confirmed by a third party marketing consultant as part of our bond refunding last February. Finally, adding additional Independent Living apartments helps support our mission by enabling us to enhance our services for residents by building a new Chapel, expanding our memory and health care services as well as additional dining options.
These are all components that support the quality of life for our existing residents and our new residents in The Brightons at Aberdeen Heights. Our bottom-line is simple – when we focus on PMMA’s “WHY,” it brings us back to making decisions for the right reason – PMMA’s mission. It is all about making decisions that build upon the purpose of this organization: “to provide quality senior services guided by Christian values.”
We will be updating this page regularly as we continue to move forward with our Phase II project at Aberdeen Heights. The updates will include current Q&A and news as we move through the stages of planning and preparation for our groundbreaking in the future. I encourage you to check this page periodically to catch-up and get the answers to your questions about the project from PMMA.
Aberdeen Heights has proven to be a good neighbor, a high-quality provider and a true asset to the Kirkwood community. Please join us in working together toward providing more quality senior living in the Kirkwood community.
Bruce H. Shogren President and CEO
Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America and Greystone, its development partner, announced plans in August to expand the Aberdeen Heights campus in Kirkwood featuring an apartment building.
When the plans were presented to the Kirkwood Planning and Zoning Commission on September 20, 2017, residents from the neighboring areas came out to voice their concerns with the proposed expansion plans. Among the issues were a change from 18 cottages in the original plans approved 10 years ago to a multi-storied apartment building and the potential impact on traffic on Ann Avenue.
“We’re proud of the neighborhood we’re in and know there are some neighbors who are very interested in future plans for our community,” said Bruce Shogren, president and CEO of PMMA.
Due to the success of Aberdeen Heights since its opening and supported by a recent market study, PMMA revised its original plans to an apartment building concept to better meet the demand for senior housing in Kirkwood and the greater St. Louis areas.
“Our existing campus has remained full with a waiting list since shortly after we opened in 2011,” Shogren said. “A subsequent market study backed up the need for more senior housing in the area accompanied by services to help seniors as they age.”
Comments from neighbors on and off campus have precipitated some changes in the plans.
“Our proposed expansion is still in the early stages, and we’re working to refine those plans,” Shogren said.
Following the meetings with residents on campus, the architects went back to the drawing board to come up with a chapel exterior design more in keeping with the appearance of the other buildings at Aberdeen Heights.
James Kneen, executive director, has been meeting with residents to address other issues identified during early resident meetings about the project. Many of those concerns relate to current campus operations and the impact the new residences will have on the existing residents.
Shogren noted that neighborhood concerns about traffic also are affecting the design for the expansion. To keep truck traffic and deliveries off Ann Avenue, plans have been modified to try to keep all traffic but the residents in the new apartment building off of Ann Avenue. In addition, PMMA and Greystone commissioned a traffic study about the impact of the Phase 2 project. The results of the study indicate minimal traffic impact on Ann Avenue. Plans also call for constructing a new sidewalk along Ann Avenue, moving the walkway away from the street and into the northern part of the Aberdeen Heights site.
“We want to continue to be good neighbors, help the city of Kirkwood thrive and serve older adults in the area,” Shogren said. “We’re dedicated to working with the city of Kirkwood to comply with all necessary requirements and to address the concerns of the neighborhood.”
The project’s next appearance before the Planning and Zoning Commission is currently scheduled for December 6.
Questions & Answers
Dear Residents and Neighbors of Aberdeen Village,
We are excited about the upcoming expansion of Aberdeen Heights and the
enhancements to the campus for the benefit of the residents. We received a
number of questions and feedback based on discussions with you. Below is an updated Q&A developed to address the questions we've received so far. We will continue to add to and update these questions and answers as the project moves through the approval process.
The questions and responses focus on building size, the dining room expansion, chapel design, traffic, parking and pedestrian access. We continue to listen and are committed to communicating frequently on the progress of Phase 2. This website will be a trusted source of information for both residents and neighbors as the expansion proceeds.
We are committed to working with you to make Aberdeen Heights an even better community and neighbor!
Bruce H. Shogren,
Aberdeen Heights Expansion
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What does it mean for Aberdeen Heights to be owned by a not-for-profit organization?
Aberdeen Heights is owned by Ashfield Active Living and Wellness
Communities, Inc., a Missouri nonprofit corporation that is exempt
from federal taxation as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal
Revenue Code. As a nonprofit, Aberdeen Heights offers substantial
benefits for its residents, including:
- Offering a faith-based, mission-driven approach to providing care and services;
- Continuous and perpetual ownership and oversight provided by a board of trustees, rather than being sold to or operated by different for-profit owners and operators;
- Reinvesting net revenues back into Aberdeen Heights to enhance financial stability instead of paying profits to investors; and
- Committing to support residents who have run out of money through no fault of their own to remain in their home at Aberdeen Heights through The Good Samaritan Program.
2 ) How many new independent living apartments will be added in the expansion?
The revised expansion plan now proposes 50 additional independent
living apartments, named The Brightons at Aberdeen Heights in a
three story building. The total number of new independent living
apartments has been reduced from 54 apartments due to the
elimination of the fourth story of the independent living apartment
3 ) How many new healthcare residences will be added in the expansion?
The Glen's healthcare expansion proposes 18 additional memory care suites
and 16 additional private nursing suites. Existing Assisted Living, Memory
Care and Nursing Care have been highly occupied with little or no availability
since Aberdeen Heights opened in 2012. These additional suites will create
more availability for the benefit of existing residents and relieve pressure
on assisted living for those who may need memory care or nursing services in
4) What other additions or renovations will be included in the expansion?
The expansion also includes the addition of a new dining venue that will
be part of The Brighton’s independent living building. In addition, proposed
plans are to enhance the existing Aberdeen Heights’ dining areas and
the addition of a new chapel. We engaged a nationally recognized dining
consultant to assist in planning the dining venues and review current
dining operations to enhance the dining experience through better
service processes and delivery. While initially the plan was to
significantly expand the main dining room, that plan has altered to
reduce the scale of the adjustments to the existing dining room. The team
continues to listen to resident feedback and adapted the plan as a result
of that feedback. The adjustment of the scale of dining enhancements
support the necessary operational change to a reservation system
that will go live in January 2018.
5) How does this expansion benefit the current residents?
The expansion provides substantial benefits to current residents, including:
The addition of a purposeful-designed chapel for the use of
Aberdeen Heights' residents to host religious services, memorial
services, concerts and other activities;
Expansion of memory care suites and private nursing care suites
to meet the needs of current and future Aberdeen Heights'
residents; as well as, to create availability in Assisted Living
apartments, as capacity in higher levels of living increase.
The anticipated increase in healthcare suites will provide
additional accommodations for residents as they use the care
continuum for their needs;
Enhance Aberdeen Heights' existing dining experience by providing
a more pleasurable dining experience in the dining rooms while
creating greater efficiency in the back of house. A nationally
recognized dining services consultant has been engaged to provide
guidance in this area of the expansion project;
Expanded Bistro space will enhance this popular dining option with
Additional dining venue in The Brightons building will provide another
venue for the existing Aberdeen Heights residents, as well as
The Brightons residents, to better ease the over-crowding
of existing dining venues;
Additional common areas and gathering spaces will be included
in The Brighton's building; and
The expansion will support itself financially and generate
additional financial resources for the benefit of the total Aberdeen
Heights community and will help in maintaining monthly fees to the
typical monthly service fee increases that have occurred in the past.
- The addition of a purposeful-designed chapel for the use of
6) What is the financial impact of this expansion on current residents?
The expansion will support itself financially and generate additional financial resources for the benefit of Aberdeen Heights.
7) What will the new chapel design be like?
A chapel has always been a part of any future plans for Aberdeen Heights
based on Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s Christian mission and values.
As currently designed, the chapel will allow for approximately 110-130
seats. We plan to use this new space to host religious services, memorial
services, concerts and other activities for the residents of Aberdeen
Heights. Due to resident feedback, the architectural team is redesigning
the exterior aesthetics of the chapel to a more traditional look that
will better match the architecture of Aberdeen Heights.
8) What will the additional dining room design entail?
The additional dining venue in The Brighton’s building will be available
for all residents to use. It will focus on daily selections that will rotate
frequently in a beautifully designed yet casual environment. Aberdeen Heights’
existing dining venues will include enhancements to seating and décor in both
the bistro and main dining room.
9) Will there be enough parking once new residents are added to Aberdeen Heights?
Aberdeen Heights will have adequate parking to support The Brighton’s additional
expansion units. The proposed plan for The Brighton’s building includes
60 additional underground parking spaces for the Brighton’s residents,
as well as additional surface parking spaces.
Additional good news is the Aberdeen Heights’ operations team is currently
working to optimize the current parking usage by reviewing and implementing
a new policy for employees and third-party caregivers to utilize the south
lot because it is currently being used minimally and presents an opportunity
to free up more parking for residents and guests.
10) What will be the impact on the neighborhood with additional traffic? How will accommodations be made for emergency vehicles and deliveries?
Aberdeen Heights has completed a traffic study which projects minimal
additional traffic with an anticipated additional 7 trips and 10 trips
during the AM and PM peak hours on the adjacent roads, respectively as a
result of the expansion. General deliveries will remain at the existing
loading dock with transfers occurring to the expansion independent living
building by a small utility style vehicle on internal roads within
Aberdeen Heights. Additionally, the team has added an access point on
the interior side of the new building to accommodate vehicle traffic, moving
trucks/vans and trash removal. This will further reduce additional traffic on
Ann Avenue. In the event emergency personnel need access to the new
expansion independent living building, emergency personnel will access
through the front entrance of The Brighton’s building as determined by
the City of Kirkwood. For the existing campus, emergency vehicles and
deliveries for the Health Center expansion are planned to occur in the same
manner as has been utilized since Aberdeen Heights’ opening.
11) Ann Avenue is a narrow street; how will accommodations be made to ensure safety for pedestrians?
The current sidewalk is immediately adjacent to Ann Avenue and its curb.
We are planning to relocate the existing sidewalk away from the roadway to
improve the safety of this section of roadway for neighbors, children and
our residents. The landscaping as currently planned will create a nicely
designed landscaped pedestrian walkway that is wider and safer for
12) How many stories will the expansion independent living building be and how will that impact the view and integrity of our neighborhood’s aesthetics?
Pursuant to feedback from residents, neighbors and the Planning and
Zoning Commission subcommittee, the independent living building is now
planned to be a 3-story building in all areas. This change has been the
result of an effort to work with all stakeholders and listen to their
Consistent with the original development of Aberdeen Heights that replaced
the St. Joseph’s Hospital, The Brightons independent living building is
proposed to be a 3 story building that will meet all applicable setback requirements..
The building elevation facing Ann Avenue will have a berm such that the
garage level appears below grade. In addition, the area between the
building and Ann Avenue will be heavily landscaped to provide a visual
buffer. The proposed project includes relocating the existing sidewalk
away from the roadway to improve the safety of this section of
roadway for neighbors, children and our residents.
13) Will there be accommodations made in the design to alleviate water run off issues?
Aberdeen Heights will meet the strict water run-off criteria required
by the City of Kirkwood and St. Louis Metropolitan Water and Sewer
District. As part of the planning and zoning process, civil engineers
are analyzing the projected storm water impact of the expansion on
the site and designing solutions to meet the City of Kirkwood and
water district requirements.
14 ) What will be done to preserve the green space amidst this addition?
From its inception, Aberdeen Heights dramatically improved the green
space on the site as compared to St. Joseph’s Hospital. The use of
the site transformed from a high rise commercial use with all surface
areas covered with parking to that of low impact senior living community
with significant green space and minimal surface parking. Aberdeen Heights
has proposed a minimal amendment to its Special Use Permit that will
minimally decrease the required green space from 55% to 50%, to
accommodate the expansion, while providing a beautiful landscape for
the Aberdeen Heights Campus.
15) The original development plans for Aberdeen Heights called for patio homes in the future. Why was that plan replaced with an apartment building?
At the time of the initial planning of development of Aberdeen Heights
in 2006 and 2007, it was believed that cottages or patio homes would be
appropriate for the expansion of Aberdeen Heights. However, trends in
senior living design have evolved over the last 10 to 15 years with a
greater emphasis on congregate and hybrid home approaches for continuing
care communities like Aberdeen Heights. PMMA is seeking to proactively
respond to these trends in the marketplace to stay relevant and viable
for the future. This trend is supported by strong occupancy levels of
Aberdeen Heights and a waitlist of interested prospective residents due
to the popularity of Aberdeen Heights in the Kirkwood and greater
St. Louis areas. These prospects are seeking residences similar to the
current offering at Aberdeen Heights.
The additional independent living building supports the ability of
Aberdeen Heights to continue to serve Kirkwood and St. Louis area
residents and allows long-standing residents an opportunity to remain in
Kirkwood as opposed to moving to a senior living community in another city
or town. Furthermore, the addition of 50 independent living apartments
provides a substantially greater financial benefit for Aberdeen Heights
than a small number of patio homes. The financial benefit of the additional
independent living apartments supports the addition of non-revenue or
non-margin producing common areas such as the proposed new chapel and new
dining venue, enhanced existing dining and bistro, additional gathering
spaces and the incremental healthcare expansion.
16) What is the process for planning and zoning and how can I participate?
Aberdeen Heights is currently seeking an amendment to its Special Use Permit
that will increase the number of allowed independent living units from
268 to 284, memory care suites from 17 to 35 and skilled nursing suites
from 38 to 54. The amendment will also decrease the required green space
from 55% to 50%.
After reviewing the expansion, the Planning and Zoning Commission will
determine whether to recommend to the City Council the proposed amendment
to Aberdeen Heights’ Special Use Permit. Two to three Planning and Zoning
Commission meetings, one or more with public comment allowed, will be held
to consider the expansion. After receiving a recommendation from the
Planning and Zoning Commission, the City Council will hold a minimum of
three readings of the amendment which are open to the public. After
receiving public comment, the City Council will vote on whether to approve
the amendment. The schedule and agenda for these meetings is available
on the City of Kirkwood website.
17) How can Aberdeen Heights’ residents best ensure that their voice is heard on this matter?
Residents are welcome to discuss the project with and provide comments to
Aberdeen Heights’ Executive Director, Jamie Kneen, who will pass comments
on to PMMA and the design/development team. To date, feedback has been
received and several changes have been made as previously explained.
Examples include: the chapel redesign, minimizing the footprint of existing
dining expansion and removing the fourth story of the Brightons building.
The listening process is working and the Aberdeen Heights team will
continue to listen and share feedback.
18) How will Aberdeen Heights and PMMA minimize disruption during the construction process?
As we get closer to a construction date, we will work with the contractor
on a plan to minimize disruptions. For example, at other communities that
experience construction disruption, we have moved the dining venue to the
multi-purpose room to accommodate dining services with minimal disruptive
impact. In the meantime, we will continue to find ways to, as much as possible,
limit the temporary inconveniences of our residents and our neighbors.
19) How will the expansion at Aberdeen Heights be funded?
The financing plans for the expansion of Aberdeen Heights are not finalized,
but it is anticipated that Ashfield Active Living and Wellness Communities,
Inc. d/b/a Aberdeen Heights will access similar sources of capital as
with the original development of Aberdeen Heights in 2010 and its
refinancing in 2017.
In 2010, the Industrial Development Authority of the City of Kirkwood,
Missouri issued Series 2010 Bonds to fund the development of Aberdeen Heights,
and in 2017, the IDA issued Series 2017 Bonds to refinance the Series 2010 Bonds.
The IDA is a conduit issuer and issued these bonds on behalf of Ashfield. Thus, the bonds,
although issued by the IDA, are not considered a liability of the IDA, the City of
Kirkwood, the State of Missouri or any other political subdivision. Nor are they
considered a pledge of faith and credit of the IDA, the City of Kirkwood,
the State of Missouri or any other political subdivision. These bonds
are solely a liability of Ashfield and are non-recourse to the IDA.
20) How often will residents get communication regarding the expansion?
Residents should expect to receive communication regarding the project at least quarterly through the Resident Council and through select Town Hall meetings, as needed. We are currently building a Priority Membership Club for The Brightons’ independent living building in which members will receive certaininformation about the expansion, while learning more about the great benefits of living at Aberdeen Heights. For our Aberdeen Heights neighbors, they may obtain progress updates by visiting AberdeenHeightsPhase2.com.
Jamie Kneen, Executive Director
Phone: (314) 909-6000
575 Couch Avenue, Kirkwood, MO 63122