A state commission gave the final nod for a 60-bed senior living project in the city of Union.

Health Facilities Review Committee Monday approved the certificate of need to build the facility. The request was filed by St. Louis-based Benchmark Healthcare, LLC.

City Adminstratior Russell Rost and Franklin County Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer testified in front of the committee stating there is a need for the facility.

“We have a really nice facility that will be built in Union,” Rost told Union aldermen Monday.

“In the county there is a shortage of 140 beds, and this will make up for 60,” he added. “That site has a lot of opportunity for future growth.”

The proposed 30,000- square-foot skilled nursing care facility is estimated to cost about $7 million.

The facility will be located at the intersection of St. Andrews Drive and Denmark Road. It will employ approximately 90 associates.

“It will also be a training source for ECC (East Central College) nursing program,” Rost said. “There is not a downside to this.”

Preliminary building designs are completed and a groundbreaking is projected for fall 2012, with resident occupancy in fall 2013.

Rost added construction will begin 60-90 days after financing is secured.

“It looks like they are moving forward rapidly,” he said.

The facility will feature state-of-the-art amenities and infrastructure to improve and modernize the quality of care in the area. The services provided will be a combination of both long-term care and rehab-to-home.

“It will be patient-oriented with mostly private rooms,” Rost said. “It will really be a nice facility.”

Benchmark Healthcare, LLC, is a regional operator and investor in senior housing properties, specifically focusing on skilled nursing care. The company is based in St. Louis with operations in two states, representing 20 facilities, 1,900 units and 1,650 associates.

For more information visit www.benchmarkhealthcare.net.