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April 26, 2019
HED Celebrates Completion of Fort Wayne Affordable Senior Living Project
HED is pleased to announce the completion of the Silver Birch of Fort Wayne, an affordable senior living community as the 119-unit community celebrated its grand opening today. The new assisted living facility provides studio and one-bedroom residences for older adults in need of supportive housing.

Silver Birch Fort Wayne is the eighth facility opened by Silver Birch Living, a senior housing organization under the Chicago-based Vermillion Development team. This particular community spans more than 97,000 square feet across four floors in one combined facility. The property sits on 4.2 acres and also features an inviting outdoor landscape and amenities.

The Vermilion development team established early the design goal of creating a “resort-like” lifestyle community at Silver Birch Fort Wayne, given its adjacency to a beautiful rolling golf course and its well-forested site. The golf course was recently purchased by a nearby university and is also soon to be repurposed as a fitness center. In this same resort-like aesthetic, the team sought to create a building that felt broken down into smaller volumes, so as to help both residents and visitors more easily feel at home in the space. This strategy also helps with wayfinding for seniors struggling with memory challenges. The resulting plan, a z-like shape, placed amenity spaces in a well-featured central ‘bar’ allowing the two residential wings to have easy, shorter access to these shared spaces.

Given the site’s naturally wooded condition, the team sought to protect the environment and minimize its impact on the landscape. As such, the design was crafted with a careful attention to the existing high-quality trees on the site. Any trees that did have to be removed were reused within the project, creating beautiful interior features as well. The interior design for the project was planned by HED and executed by Chicago-based Strong Design Consultants.

“The client wanted the building to be visible from a nearby highway, so the entry canopy was designed to help achieve that visibility. In addition, it allowed us to orient the building’s site plan in such a way as to create a beautiful, courtyard-like backside rich with outdoor living amenities and natural, forested views,” said Cory Kamholz, HED’s design leader for the project.

A second project for HED with the Vermilion Development team, HED had a strong understanding of their business model and affordability goals from the project’s launch. Susan King, HED’s Principal in charge is delighted to have delivered another quality project for the client and the Fort Wayne community.

“We have enjoyed working with HED’s housing design team in the creation of this place. From the get-go, they understood our aim to provide an affordable housing option for seniors in the Northeast Indiana area while also identifying creative design solutions based on our operational plans. The result is a comfortable, contemporary and complete home for our residents.” said Darrin Jolas, Managing Director of Vermilion Development.
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