[custom_frame_right]Worcester alzheimer care Oasis[/custom_frame_right] “California Dreamin’” is what Micha Shalev and Ben Herlinger have done for years except they have transported their visionary thinking from the Golden State to the East Coast.

Their ambitions to make a mark in the healthcare industry did not end with the purchase of Dodge Park Rest Home (the former Heald mansion) on Randolph Rd. From the outset they looked for opportunities to expand the services they offer. “The Day Club at Dodge Park” with its activities and programs for senior adults is one evidence of this, as was their interest in the Washburn House property in Webster Square before it became a hospice facility.

It made perfect sense for Mr. Shalev and Mr. Herlinger to turn their focus at some point to the once- magnificent and now-dilapidated circa early-1900s Odd Fellows Home building and grounds directly opposite Dodge Park Rest Home and that’s what they’ve done. With DPH approval (already obtained) and barring unexpected complications (as for instance a snafu at a zoning hearing on June 17th) ground will be broken this July or August for “Oasis at Dodge Park”—a Level IV 82-bed rest home for persons suf- fering from memory impairment and dementia.

Completion of the $15 million project featuring a combination of private rooms with private baths, pri- vate rooms with shared baths and semi-private rooms will enable Oasis at Dodge Park to be open for business in the latter half of 2014.

It will mean demolition of the historic brick-and- mortar Odd Fellows Home on about a 415-acre site.

In anticipation of the $450,000 a year in property taxes they will face, “we have asked the city for help” in the form of a TIF, Mr. Shalev said. Dodge Park’s attorneys, Seder & Chandler, are negotiating this with Paul Morano from the city’s Office of Economic De- velopment.

Oasis at Dodge Park with its four main entrances from the north, south, east and west, its use of bal- anced and natural light to “bring the outdoors inside” as Mr. Shalev puts it, its central courtyard, its park- like atmosphere, its compatibility with the neighbor- hood and the nearly 80 jobs it will create is well worth the city’s support, Mr. Shalev said.

Oasis at Dodge Park will be an extension of “what we do” at Dodge Park Rest Home,” Mr. Shalev said. “We employ 72 people here at Dodge Park Rest Home and 93% of them are local. We will also be using local labor” to the fullest extent possible with the new ventre, he said.

Oasis is needed, he noted. “People don’t want to be a nursing home. They want a more home-like setting.”

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