Phil Gisi, president and CEO of Edgewood Healthcare, broke ground on his company’s newest senior living facility and reflected that, along with the proposed Olive Ann boutique hotel in downtown Grand Forks, this may be two of the last large construction projects he oversees. Innovations in health care services are pointing him in new directions, he says.

On a frigid Wednesday, Nov. 6, Gisi, surrounded by civic and business leaders such as Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown, overturned the ceremonial shovel full of black dirt and marked the groundbreaking of another senior living facility for his company. Edgewood Healthcare owns or operates more than 60 senior living facilities in seven states. This latest undertaking will be the third for the company in the region, after Edgewood Parkwood in Grand Forks and Edgewood Memory Care in East Grand Forks.

The facility, an approximately 170-unit development, called Edgewood Village, located between 40th Avenue South and 47th Avenue South, will span a 20-acre section of land. It will include a 142-unit senior housing complex with 118 assisted living and basic care bed, and 24 memory care beds for people with Alzheimer’s disease of other forms of dementia. There also will be 32 single-family rental units for people older than 55 years of age, called Edgewood Patio and Twin Homes.

Along with Edgewood Village, Gisi is developing The Olive Ann Hotel through another company, Edgewood Development Group. The hotel plan has seen traction of late, with the Grand Forks City Council having voted on Monday 7-0 to send proposed tax breaks for the project on to the next round of public scrutiny. Gisi said, in the future, his company will focus on other areas of growth, as opposed to new building projects.

“Oh, I think it’ll be the last major development I do,” he said, though retirement is not on his mind.

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“I think I’ll probably slow down, but I don’t think I’m going to be retiring anytime soon,” he said. “For me, I think these projects are really needed in this community. I know that this Olive Ann here is needed, and, financially, it’s going to be a struggle. I think it’s a needed facility, and I think it’s going to be well-received.

"The growth in our business is more on the health care side, so we’re not going to build a bunch of more stuff,” he said. “I don’t see us doing that.”

In addition to the senior housing complex and single-family homes at Edgewood Village, the campus, when completed, will have a variety of other features, some of which may be utilized by the community as a whole. A bistro and coffee shop will serve the retirement community, along with a theater, chapel, pub and other common spaces for activities. There also will be a fitness center that will offer physical therapy services as well as a large pond and patio area.

“We’re really not building that much anymore because it costs so much to build,” Gisi said. “Instead, we’re starting to offer health care services in our buildings. That’s new. Most assisted living facilities across the country provide meals and activities and things like that. What we’ve done is we’ve started implementing health care services right in the building."

The Edgewood Medical Office Building, in conjunction with Altru Health System, is slated for a September 2020 completion and will be attached to the assisted living community. The medical office building will provide service for the retirement community and the greater Grand Forks community as well.

As for the Olive Ann hotel, Gisi looks forward to contributing an upscale establishment, including hotel and convention center, to downtown Grand Forks — should it pass muster from the city, county, Park Board and School Board, in the next regulatory round.

“If anything, that’s what I want to say 10 years from now, is I really added value to the community,” he said.