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Patchogue opens first senior living center to attract older residents

The first floor dining area at the Village

The first floor dining area at the Village Walk Senior Living Facility in Patchogue, seen on Wednesday. Credit: Johnny Milano

Patchogue officials last week celebrated the opening of a $34 million senior living facility, marking a change in character along Main Street for a village that had focused on attracting young adults and artists.

Bars, restaurants and a vibrant nightlife have defined West Main Street in the past few years, helping to transform the once downtrodden downtown into a lively scene that has attracted visitors from as far as Queens and the Hamptons. East Main Street has been defined by the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, which also attracts visitors from around Long Island.

“We’re targeting young people, but we still need a place for seniors to go and for generations of families to stay,” Mayor Paul Pontieri said about the opening of Village Walk Senior Living. “It’s just another asset in the community.”

Pontieri said the new housing allows residents who are no longer able to live at home to stay in the community while further building up East Main Street.

“This is a great way for seniors to stay in the community and take advantage of downtown,” said Christine DeLeo, executive director of the Village Walk.

The 86,000-square-foot facility, which celebrated its opening on Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, features 128 apartments, a wellness center for residents who need occupational or physical therapy, and an activity room for balloon volleyball and chair tennis. A wine room for happy hour is on the first floor along with a bistro and dining area where residents can have breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a movie theater.

Thirty-eight people have already moved in with a long list of others who have committed to live at Village Walk, officials said. Rents range from $4,000 to $6,000 per month and include housekeeping service, laundry and a free car service for trips of less than 10 miles.

“I don’t have to worry about anything,” said Josephine Champlain, 88, the first resident to sign up to move in. “I used to hate shoveling snow.”

Peter Foley, principal at Levittown-based D&F Development, which constructed the building, said the company was “happy with the way the seniors have been responding” to the development. Officials said the facility has drawn residents from Queens and Nassau County as well as Suffolk.

“We do want to be a full service community — we want to cater to young people and seniors as they downsize,” said David Kennedy, executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce. “Any good community, really, you want to have a nice mix. And that includes service of all ages.”

The site of the facility “was a vacant piece of land for many years so now it’s being used to its full potential,” Kennedy said. “Patchogue was lacking a high-quality senior living facility.

The opening of Village Walk follows last month’s creation of the Arts on Terry Street District to help attract artists to live and work in the village.

“The town is coming back,” Fred Valenti, 72, said at the ribbon-cutting. “I moved back 10 years ago and people told me I was crazy. But I told them: I’m feeling something good.”

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