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Kentwood Manor moving south

Photos by Ryne Berthelot

ONGOING CONSTRUCTION -- Cars drive past the construction of a new nursing home being built on Hwy 51 in Ponchatoula.

By LAUREN LANGLOIS staffwriter@hammondstar.com

Construction of a care facility in Ponchatoula that will replace a nursing home in Kentwood should wrap up around October.

Lannie Richardson, chief executive officer of Central Control LLC, said the future Ponchatoula facility on U.S. 51 Business will be jointly operated by Central Control and CommCare, the owner of the building.

He said the facility is licensed as a nursing home, but it will serve as a rehabilitation center for people recovering from surgeries or for other medical reasons. The facility will offer short-term and long-term care for its residents, he said.

Central Control is based in Pineville and manages various care facilities, such as hospices and long-term care facilities. One of its facilities is Kentwood Manor Nursing Home, which will be transfered to the new Ponchatoula facility once it opens in the fall, he said.

Kentwood Manor residents will have the option to be transferred to Ponchatoula. The employees will also able to transfer when the Kentwood nursing home closes its doors and the Ponchatoula one opens, he said.

The new 75,000-square-foot facility will have 140 beds and will be divided into five pods or neighborhoods, each with a communal living space, a dining area and outdoor areas, among other features. The facility will have nurses and therapists on staff, he said.

Richardson said the company will likely have a bigger staff at the Ponchatoula facility, adding 80 to 100 employees to the staff coming from Kentwood Manor.

According to Chris Winburn, Ponchatoula building official, CommCare Corporation received its building permit from the city in August and the construction value of the project is $13.8 million. Construction is underway on the west side of U.S. 51 Business, north of Gregorie Lane and across from a strip mall. The facility will be single story and will consist of one large building with multiple wings, Winburn said.

The contractor on the project is Donahue Favret Construction, which is based in Mandeville, Winburn said.

Other construction

The mixed-use building at 200 E. Morris Ave. in Hammond is about a month away from completion. That building is valued at $1.86 million and will consist of apartments and commercial spaces.

Owner Andre Theriot said the building should be finished by mid-February. It will have 11 apartments, five of which are currently leased. There will be three commercial spaces. Wells Fargo Advisors will occupy one of the spaces by relocating there. Theriot said the goal is to attract tenants that provide professional services rather than retail.

Also a construction crew can be seen working on the future apartment complex being constructed at 2400 N. Morrison Blvd. Once finished, the complex will have four three-story apartment buildings, a club house and a maintenance building. Previously, project manager Shane Estes, with Davis and Sons Construction Co., has said the apartment complex should be ready for residents by the summer of 2019.

Kent Mitchell RV is constructing another sales office at 18246 S. I-12 Service Road in Ponchatoula. The RV dealer has a location off Interstate 55 Service Road in Hammond. Owner Wayne Mitchell said he expects the construction project to wrap up around April 1. Construction has begun, with the building's skeleton up. It will be 1,728 square feet and has a value of $250,000.

In Tickfaw, a new Dollar General Store is planned for a vacant site at 48105 Sibley Road. The permit from the parish states it will be 9,100 square feet and the project is valued at $275,000. Construction has not yet begun, but the store is expected to be ready in July.

Roy Eschette, of Zimmer-Eschette Services II LLC, said his company will begin the demolition of the old pool at Zemurray Park that is going to be replaced with an upgraded pool. He said the demolition project should begin in about two weeks. The company is also permitted for constructing three metal commercial buildings on College Town Drive that will be available for lease. Each building is valued at $150,000 and will be 7,200 square feet.