TANH Exterior[2]An architect's rendering of the six-story addition, at right above, as seen from Riverside Avenue. 

The owner of Navesink House, a 41-year-old high-rise senior citizens' residence on Riverside Avenue, is about to blow the dust off five-year-old plans for a major addition to the Red Bank property.

PHS Senior Living, which is nearly finished transforming its existing 12-story tower of tiny apartments into sumptuous, hotel-like environment, plans to build a six-story, $25 million addition beginning later this year, officials tell redbankgreen.

When completed, the conjoined structures will constitute a $50 million enclave of high-end services for well-heeled elders, offering hair styling, fine dining and to-the-hearse healthcare.

Rebranded the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, the property constitutes the "most upscale" of five continuing care retirement communities PHS owns in New Jersey, says chief operating officer Chuck Mooney, of Middletown.

Atlantic Views of a completed unit on the 11th floor of the existing building. (Click to enlarge)

Dining room A computer rendering of the planned dining room.

"What clients are really buying is one, lifestyle, or two, the promise
of future healthcare," says Mooney. "They can probably find a better
hotel, but at the end of the day, they're really looking for
healthcare" to take them to the end of their lives, he says.

"You come here, you worry about nothing," says Jim Antonucci, the PHS executive who manages the Red Bank complex, which includes community rooms, a computer lab and breathtaking river views from a sun deck.

Formerly known as Presbyterian Homes, PHS is a Princeton-based builder and operator of senior housing projects along a range of price points. Among them are several continuing care retirement communities, which provide housing, housekeeping services, meals and medical services onsite. Its CEO is Gary Puma, of Shrewsbury.

The company also has a foundation that steps in to pay for those costs in cases where residents find themselves financially tapped out through no fault of their own.

The organization acquired the Red Bank property from the
American Baptist Estate in 2005, assuming a $7 million mortgage,
according to Monmouth County records. A year earlier, the Baptists had won zoning board approval for the expansion plan but hadn't followed through with construction.

So why is the project going into the ground now, with the economy teetering? Company officials say the addition is needed, given strong demand for living units there.

A radical overhaul of the existing 12-story building has transformed what were 110 units, some as small as 195 square feet, into 74 apartments, including suites as large as 1,125 SF, says marketing director Mary Sommers.

All but the top two floors of the building are finished and booked.

Residents of the high-rise and the planned
60-apartment addition need sturdy wallets. Though they don't own their
units, they pay entry fees of between $350,00 and $1 million, depending
on the size and views afforded, plus monthly service fees of up to
$4,500. Under one option, up to 90 percent of the entry fee may be
returned to heirs upon a resident's death.

Digging of foundations for the addition is scheduled for August, with construction to begin in the fall, says Antonucci.

Despite its not-for-profit status, PHS pays taxes on the residential
and other non-healthcare related portions of the property. Mooney says
the annual payment to Red Bank, now  $354,000 a year on an assessment
of $19.8 million, is expected to double upon completion of the project.

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