Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nursing Home Reopens as Retirement Community

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nursing Home Reopens as Retirement Community

Article excerpt

Byline: Beth Reese Cravey, County Line staff writer

A former Green Cove Springs area nursing home, which closed in 1999 after its parent company went bankrupt, has reopened as an retirement community.

Magnolia Manor, on U.S. 17 just north of the city, will have an open house for the public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, including a 4 p.m. grand opening party.

The center has a capacity of about 90, but by Christmas is expecting about 30 assisted-living residents in private and semi-private rooms, up to 28 in independent living and 12 in a day-care program run from a separate wing.

A handful of residents have already moved in, said Executive Director Harry Weldon.

"We have four residents and I am on my way to pick up the fifth," he said earlier this week.

The facility has undergone many changes since its last incarnation, including structural repairs and a revamped interior that Weldon said resembles a cruise ship.

Activities for residents will follow that theme, with tropical music, Beach Party Wednesdays and a regular gig by a Hawaiian singer from St. Augustine, among other things. Four times a year, "destination cruises" will be held, with the music and building decorations changed to match the destination country, ethnic meals rotated into the menu and live entertainment.

"We're going very upscale," he said.

The facility was to reopen in December 2002 as The Crossings Rehabilitation and Senior Care Center, a combination nursing home and assisted living center.

But those plans were derailed by licensing problems and a financial dispute between the owner, Joe Mittauer, who owns the Mittauer and Associates engineering firm near Orange Park, and the management company that had leased the property.

Since then, new management has been brought in, Weldon said. …

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