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Knute Nelson embarks on Grand Arbor

Contributed photo Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for Grand Arbor last Thursday. The $26 million project is expected to be completed in September 2011.

A ceremonious ground blessing and breaking for Grand Arbor, the newest lifestyle community for aging adults by Knute Nelson (KN), was held on Thursday, July 8 at the site on Pioneer Road in Alexandria.

Grand Arbor consists of 137 apartments encompassing independent living, assisted living, enhanced assisted living and memory care assisted living apartments centered around a thriving town center with an array of amenities and a wellness center.

Grand Arbor has been designed to the specialized needs of aging adults that encourages active lifestyles, expanded health care choices and lifestyle amenities, according to KN officials.

The need for expanded health care choices for aging adults is prevalent, say KN leaders, especially as the population is projected to increase significantly over the next 20 years: Those 55 and older increasing by 70 percent and those 65 and older by 100 percent.

As a result, the KN board of directors is responding to these challenges to ensure community members remain living in Alexandria.

"We understand the best health care is health care that is closest to home and this groundbreaking brings us one step closer to ensuring the community has the services and choices for care that area families need and depend on now and into the future," said Mark Anderson, KN president/CEO.

The estimated $26 million project for the 220,000-square-foot complex is funded through municipal bonds, equity and fundraising.

A "Dimensions" capital campaign is being well received by the Alexandria community, according to KN leaders.

"Generous members of the community share our commitment to ensure programs central to the mission thrive in addition to making quality, affordable housing and health care accessible for future Grand Arbor residents and the Alexandria area community," said Jerry Hansen, KN board trustee and campaign co-chair.

Philanthropy represents the cornerstone of the many qualities that define and distinguish Knute Nelson: rigorous programs, longstanding spiritual care and wellness programming, commitment to equity and access of high-quality health care and exceptional professional staff, according to KN leaders.

The Dimensions campaign is chaired by Hansen and Jim Eidsvold, and led by other community leaders, including Tim Bush, Stuart Henrickson, LaDean Moen, Larry Ortloff, Tom Schabel, Pastor Barbara Lund Thompson and Larry Zilliox.

The general contractor for the Grand Arbor project is Innovative Builders, Inc. of Alexandria. Construction is anticipated to reach completion in September 2011.

Housing reservations are being accepted for the senior apartments (independent living).

Individuals interested in learning more about Grand Arbor housing choices may contact Terri Rosenstock, housing counselor, at (320) 763-1600 or stop by the Information Office at 2306 South Broadway, Suite 6½ (located by Dentistry at the Center) in Alexandria.

Knute Nelson, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, faith-based corporation, is a leader in senior housing and health care that offers services to the West Central Minnesota region. For information on Knute Nelson visit or call (320) 763-6653.