Anyone concerned that skilled nursing is out of step in terms of building big, shiny senior living communities need only look at what Ciena Healthcare is doing with its skilled nursing projects in Michigan. 

With the June 2019 opening of the 146-bed Regency at St. Clair Shores in north suburban Detroit, the skilled nursing sector looks alive and well.

Built at a cost of $20 million, the nearly 89,000-square-foot nursing center sits on six acres and features 56 private deluxe suites and 43 semi-private suites with individual showers. All suites are barrier-free and have private bathrooms.

Ciena President Mohammad Qazi says the project is a commitment to local seniors who need a new safe, healthy and comfortable environment and that the project has transformed a formerly blighted area.

“The existing structure at the location was an apartment building that was considered to be an eyesore and reflected badly on the community,” Qazi says. “Ciena Healthcare was committed to creating a beautiful building that was harmonious with the surrounding community and to also serve as a replacement building for an existing skilled nursing center less than a mile away. These were priorities for the city and we were honored to deliver on those promises.”

The aesthetics of the Regency draws upon the beauty of Lake St. Clair, which is nestled below Lake Huron to the north. A palette of browns, grays and blues reflects the natural colors of the lakeshore, while strategically placed wood, stone and brick accents provide the texture of the landscape.

The design also includes a full-service spa and salon, as well as abundant comfortable lounges for families and guests. The spacious, state-of-the-art gym provides for all disciplines of therapy. 

“The interior was designed to resemble a boutique hotel,” Qazi says. “The design team spent many hours discussing all the little details from the nurse call lighting, wall tile, fixtures, furniture and lighting.”

The foundational materials consist of steel, metal framing, brick and concrete masonry units. Among the interior key materials is Acrovyn, a high-impact millwork that adds longevity to traditional wood.

“The design team made the choice to utilize high-definition photography artwork, which is spectacular,” Qazi says. “The photos make a huge impact on the overall feeling and aesthetics of the building. Additionally, the interior lighting we selected also makes a difference in the look and feel of the facility, creating a warm, inviting glow.”

The Regency at St. Clair Shores is the fourth skilled nursing center opened by Ciena Healthcare in the region and Qazi says it is emblematic of his dedication to providing skilled nursing and short-term rehab for the community.

“The need is still high,” he says. “Our goal is to provide the highest level of care possible while exceeding the needs and expectations of those we serve. We fulfill both the long-term and short-term needs of our seniors and post-acute patients, as it is critical for their well-being.”