A long-vacant piece of property near Vienna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and Adventist Health Lodi Memorial will soon be developed into housing for senior citizens.

The Lodi Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved a conditional use permit for TLC Assisted Care to build a two-story structure at 1108 Sylvia Drive.

The property was once home to the Vista Ray Convalescent Hospital, which was closed and demolished in 2008. It has remained vacant since that time, City of Lodi staff said during the meeting.

Staff said the applicant plans to build a facility for senior assisted living and memory care, and the average age of residents will be about 84 years old.

Architect and applicant Mike Frazier has designed a number of similar facilities throughout California, he said, and the TLC Assisted Living center will complement the surrounding area.

“We hope to have a good rapport with the surrounding community, because it’s so conducive to this kind of a facility to be close to a nursing facility and a hospital. All those things work together,” he said. “It’s just the good kind of community to be in. It’s a quiet community once it’s established and all the rooms are filled. Through my experience with numerous cities, it’s a very conducive use to put around these kind of facilities.”

The assisted living portion of the project will consist of 54 units with studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom plans, and 24 units in a separate memory care wing.

Visitors and staff will be able to access the facility through a driveway on Fairmont Avenue.

Vienna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is located next door to the west, and Adventist Health medical offices are located to the south. Additional medical offices are located to the east.

Commissioners did not comment on the project before approving the permit.

However, the Site Plan and Architectural Review Committee reviewed the project earlier in the evening, and member Mitch Slater, who also serves on the Planning Commission, was happy with the proposal.

“It’s a lovely looking facility,” he said “Not always do we have facilities that blend in naturally. You’ve done a nice job there. For the most part, I really enjoy what you’re doing there and it really fits in with the community.”

SPARC member Roger Stafford said he was pleased something would be built on the site after more than a decade.

“I was at the church when they bought that property, and it laid fallow for so long that we kept saying ‘get rid of it, get somebody in that can put something there that adds some value,’” he said. “I think you’ve done a good job. I’m excited to see that property being used like it should have been used when the church owned it.”

It is unknown when construction on the project will begin.

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