A proposed five-story independent living expansion at Oak Trace Senior Living Community in Downers Grove, Ill., is the culmination of a seven-year multiphase master plan.

Phase 1 included a new healthcare center with assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing units to replace an outdated health center at the community owned by Lifespace Communities (West Des Moines, Iowa). This second phase expands upon the existing independent living offerings on campus and ensures long-term growth within the community.

The expansion includes 145 independent living units located in two distinct building wings connected by a one-story commons building. The centrally located commons building features a new dining venue, market, café, fitness center, pool, multipurpose room, spa/salon, and living room.

The commons building is designed in an “upscale casual” style that is rooted in classicism, mixing some contemporary details with modern and clean design elements.

The new Oak Trace Senior Living Community building also features an underground parking garage with a 1:1 ratio for parking spaces to units and some back-of-house spaces. This phase of work also includes the renovation of the common spaces in the existing independent building in a similar design style as the commons.

The master plan concept was to maximize opportunities for green space surrounding the new apartment wings and the commons building, providing continuity between all levels of care. The exterior amenities include ornamental tree orchards, a dry creek, butterfly and shade gardens, prairie garden, wind and sensory garden, dining venues, and areas for event spaces.

The commons building’s position between the existing healthcare center and independent living building and the new five-story apartment wings made this centrally located area the common ground between all levels of care.


Project details

Facility name: Oak Trace Senior Living Community

Location: Downers Grove, Ill.

Expected completion date: January 2024

Owner: Lifespace Communities

Developer: Greenbrier Development Inc.

Total building area: 325,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost: $84 million

Cost/sq. ft.: $260/sq. ft.

Architecture firm: SAS Architects & Planners LLC

Interior design: Interior Design Associates Inc.

General contractor: Walsh Construction Group LLC

Engineering: Steen Engineering Inc. (MEP/FP), McClure (structural), GeWalt Hamilton Associates Inc. (civil), Direct Supply Aptura (low-voltage engineer)

Landscape architect: Teska Associates

Food service: Scopos Hospitality Group

Pool designer: WT Group

Builder: Walsh Construction Group LLC