NEW ALBANY, INDIANA (WDRB) -- Saved from the wrecking ball.
A local developer has spent millions of dollars to preserve the old Silvercrest Hospital located near the Knobs in Southern Indiana.
Built in 1938 and opened in 1941, the historic art deco building in the scenic woods of the Knobs has served as a tuberculosis hospital and children's development center.
But after more than a $16 million renovation, it is now a first class senior living center known as the Villages at Historic Silvercrest.
The development center was closed in 2006 and sat abandoned for several years.
"One of the things we wanted to do was create an environment that feels residential," says Matt Chalfant, who purchased the property and had plans to redevelop it.
He considered turning the six story building into condos.
But after looking at demographic trends, Chalfant decided that a place for senior living would be the best thing to do with the property.
"With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 years old every day," he says, "the opportunity was greater for us long term and there was just a huge need in our community for a senior center."
The 120 unit upscale development includes independent living apartments, assisted living ones, and 54 skilled nursing units.
In addition Chalfant built new independent living patio homes on the property.
Administrator Ross Oberhausen showed WDRB News the patio homes.
"We have 26 villa units and these are about 1,100 square feet," he says.
He says the development has many impressive amenities for seniors to say active and healthy.
"We have an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, a message room, and tennis courts outside," he explains.
So saved from the demolition, beautiful building with lots of history now to be used for many years to come.
"My hope is that other people in the development community will understand you can take these old buildings and we can preserve and restore them," says Chalant.
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