atrium-lotA makeover of the vacant lot in the foreground is slated to begin shortly after the start of construction of six-story structure between the two Riverside Avenue high-rises in the distance. (Click to enlarge)

[See corrections at the bottom of this article]

Construction of an addition to the upscale Atrium at Navesink Harbor senior-citizens residence in Red Bank is expected to start next week with nearly all 60 units spoken for, according to officials at Springpoint Senior Living.

Long before the build-out is complete, however, an eyesore lot at the fork of West Front Street and Riverside Avenue will be transformed into a green-trimmed parking area for use by Atrium residents – and attended by valets, says company chief financial administrative officer Chuck Mooney.

tanh-exterior3An architect’s rendering of the six-story addition, at right above, as seen from Riverside Avenue.

The triangular one-acre lot, which was once home to a car dealership and won approval in 2005 as the site of an office building that never saw the light of day, will serve as a staging area for construction of the six-story addition to the existing 12-story Atrium on Riverside Avenue. Work should be completed in December 2012, Mooney says.

But just 30 or so days after the $35 million addition starts, backhoes will also tear into the cracked asphalt lot across the street, Mooney tells redbankgreen. The resulting 98-car, secure-access lot will be reserved for Atrium residents and their guests, whose cars are to be parked and retrieved by valets following specified traffic patterns dictated by the borough zoning board to mitigate traffic impacts.

The valet service is just one of many perks at the Atrium, a  continuing care retirement community that offers gourmet meals, onsite banking, pontoon-boat river cruises and in-apartment healthcare. Residents pay entry fees of $350,000 to $1 million, plus monthly service fees of up to $4,500 to live there.

Springpoint has already spent more than $15 million renovating the formerly drab senior’s residence it acquired for $7 million from the American Baptist Estate in 2005, when it was known as Navesink House.

In spite of the tough economy, particularly for real estate, the addition is virutally sold out, Mooney says. Eleven of the planned units have been reserved by singles and couples who already live at the Atrium, he says, and all 60 units are under contract, though a contract-attrition rate of 15 to 18 percent in the industry means that a waiting list of buyers will certainly be tapped, he says.

The sellout, he says, is proof of demand for active lifestyles by today’s seniors.

“The typical model is 50 acres in a country setting,” Mooney says of retirement communities. “Now, the residents want to be more integrated into the local community, to stay with the same doctors they already see, to go to the same restaurants.”

The Atrium, which is Springpoint’s only urban facility, draws its residents from within a five-mile radius, whereas similar projects typically draw from 15 to 25 miles out, Mooney says.

[Correction and clarification: Mooney’s title is “chief administrative officer,” not chief financial officer. We apologize for the error.

Regarding the fees cited above, those came from information provided to redbankgreen in 2009. Mooney tells us that the entry fees have since been adjusted downward, so that they now range from $200,800 to $949,000, and that monthly service fees begin at $3,500. “The majority of the apartments have monthly service fees significantly below $4,500,” Mooney says.]