Under special COVID-19 protocols, people have begun moving into a new 86-unit assisted living and memory care facility that has opened on Old Quarry Road in Ridgefield.

The facility, called Atria Ridgefield, adds over $14 million in assessed value to the town’s tax base and is expected to pay $408,000 in annual taxes under the current mill rate, according to Assessor Al Garzi. The facility will pay more to the town next year when all the business equipment and furnishings taxed as “personal property” are factored in.

The three-story 80,000-square-foot building has been opened by Atria Senior Living, which operates 210 senior living communities across the United States and Canada. The first residents moved into Atria Ridgefield on July 3, according to Atria public relations manager Cait Crenshaw.

The facility is “welcoming new residents in compliance with Atria’s COVID-19 safety protocols,” including a negative COVID-19 test result for a prospective resident before moving in, an annnouncement from the company said.

Staff will be tested before they start work at the facility, and will wear “personal protective equipment including N95 masks, gloves and washable gowns,” Atria said.

Among the 86 apartments at Atria Ridgefield are 59 assisted living units and 27 that are part of a “dedicated memory care neighborhood with specialized services for individuals living with the challenges of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia,” the company said.

Prices range from $4,600 a month for a “shared suite” to monthly rates of $6,500 for a studio, $7,395 for the lowest one-bedroom and $10,700 a month for two-bedroom apartments.

The facility at 55 Old Quarry Road, on the fringe of Ridgefield’s village — Atria describes it as “walking distance to the Ridgefield Library.” The facility offers “all-inclusive amenities such as a fitness center, theater, library, wellness center and sunrooms, along with conveniences like housekeeping and scheduled transportation,” the compnay says. “Outdoor features include courtyards, gardens, covered porches and walking paths.”

Schlumberger land

The Atria Ridgefield building is built on part of a five-acre parcel that the town bought as part of the 45-acre Schlumberger purchase, and then sold to developer Steve Zemo — the only party to respond to an open bidding process — for $1,250,000.

The sale was part of a calculated effort to recoup some of the roughly $7 million the town spent buying the land, demolishing buildings and cleaning up the 45-acre property.

The five acres sold to Zemo were on the opposite side of Old Quarry Road from the 40-acre main campus. In addition to Atria Ridgefield, the five acres now hold a building Zemo built at 35 Old Quarry Road. That three-story structure has 10 garage bays, 40 storage units and 16 apartments — five of which are deed restricted as affordable housing. Tax on the Zemo building is more $65,000 a year.

Of the remaining 40 acres of the Schlumberger land, 10 acres were sold to Charter Group Partners for $4.3 million. The land is now the 54-unit 77 Sunset Lane complex. Assessor Al Garzi estimates the nine townhouses and 45 coach homes at 77 Sunset Lane probably pay another $500,000 to $600,000 in annual taxes.

COVID-19 protocols

Atria Ridgefield is the seventh location in Fairfield and Westchester counties, and the ninth community in Connecticut, for Atria Senior Living.

“Atria Ridgefield is a beautiful community and we are excited to be able to serve even more families in the Fairfield County area,” said John Hartmayer, senior vice president at Atria Senior Living. “We are prepared with detailed COVID-19 safety protocols in place and have adapted our ability to allow safe connections and interactions among residents and family members.”

Atria says it has had extensive protocols in place at its properties since late February to help protect residents and staff from COVID-19, and continues to follow the guidance of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as local and state authorities.

“New residents must receive a negative COVID-19 test result prior to their scheduled move-in date,” Atria says. “Upon move-in, new residents will be supported by staff in appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) including N95 masks, gloves and washable gowns. All newly hired employees will be tested prior to their start date.”

Individuals may learn more about Atria’s COVID-19 response measures on their website.

An events program planned at Atria Ridgefield will offer residents “meaningful daily experiences for continual learning, fitness, connection, personal growth and fulfillment, and has adapted these programs for safety,” the company says.

“Residents at Atria Ridgefield can engage in safe, socially distant programs, such as walking within the grounds, small-group dining, scenic drives and drive-up visits from family and friends. Atria also offers telehealth options and extended in-apartment dining options and room service to those who request extra safety measures.”

21,000 residents

Atria Senior Living describes itself as “a leading operator of independent living, assisted living, supportive living and memory care communities in more than 210 locations in 26 states and seven Canadian provinces.” Atria is the residence for more than 21,000 older people, and the workplace for more than 14,000 employees.

The company seeks to create “vibrant communities where older adults can thrive and participate, know that their contributions are valued, and enjoy access to opportunities and support that help them keep making a positive difference in the world,” Atria says.

The Atria Ridgefield facility was developed by Formation Development Group and designed by PRDG Architects.

For more information or to schedule a virtual tour of Atria Ridgefield, contact Executive Director Margarida Velardo at 203-403-0990 or visit AtriaRidgefield.com.

More information about Atria is available at AtriaSeniorLiving.com. Information on working for Atria, is available at AtriaCareers.com.