(Photo by John Cook)
The 3.67-acre parcel of land that rests on the north side of M-81 in between Carter Lumber (background) and Maple Grove Veterinary Clinic, was annexed from Indianfields Township last month by the city of Caro. Plans are in place for an assisted living facility to be constructed on the grounds.

A small part of Indianfields Township was annexed into the city of Caro last month, and plans are already in place for a new assisted living facility to be built on the grounds.

The 3.67 acres of land is located on the north side of M-81, between Carter Lumber, 1250 Carter Drive, and Maple Grove Veterinary Clinic, 1710 W. Caro Road.

Shahan Sikander, managing partner for Comfort Care Senior Living, which operates four facilities in mid-Michigan, said he anticipates construction to begin on the new facility in 2019.

“Now that the annexation has taken place, we have to go through the process of developing a site plan,” Sikander said. “We estimate it could take seven months to get through this entire process. I would hope that around this time next year we would be breaking ground, if not sooner.”

Comfort Care operates assisted living facilities in Bay City, Chesaning, the Shields area of Saginaw County and Bridgeport.

“We are a group of assisted living and senior care facilities, the largest senior care provider within the Tri-Cities (Saginaw, Bay City, Midland) area,” Sikander said.

Caro Comfort Care would join Heritage Hill, 1430 Cleaver Road, as Caro assisted-living options.

“This is going to be part of our vision, the way we do business is a state-of-the-art facility with the most modern and upscale amenities,” Sikander said. “We estimate a $5 or $6 million project.”

Sikander said the plan is to build a 55 to 60 bed facility that will create 30 new jobs, with the potential of adding more jobs as the facility grows.

“We feel that Caro was in dire need of a new assisted living facility,” Sikander said. “And it’s something I think (Indianfields Township) and (Caro) desperately wanted to see happen. I think Caro will definitely benefit.”

In 2016, annexation talks were underway between Indianfields and Caro, but broke down before any progress could be made. Because proceedings stalled, Sikander soured on the prospect of bringing a new facility to Caro, said Caro Mayor Joe Greene. After the 2016 general election, new officials in both Caro and Indianfields eventually began talking again about the city annexing the parcel of land.

“Indianfields had some changes, we had some changes, we’ve been trying to get (Sikander) to come back and talk, and he finally did,” Greene said. “The parcel of land is now coming into the city and the project is moving forward.”

At separate meetings in March, both Indianfields Township and Caro agreed to the transaction.

“It’s a big deal, the population around here is getting older” Greene said. “Plus, it’s jobs, it’s new development. I give Indianfields Township credit for helping us get this done.”