In the 1950s, the Duarte's Westminster Gardens retirement community began as a place for Presbyterian missionaries to retire after returning to the United States. These days, the 32-acre property houses older adults from all stripes of life a non-profit life plan community. Soon, it could continue on that path, but with brand new buildings.

A notice issued by the City of Duarte indicates that an update to the Westminster Gardens specific plan is entering the environmental review stage. The project site, bounded by Huntington Drive to the north, Central Avenue to the south, Santa Domingo Avenue to the West, and Bradbourne Avenue to the east, sits just northeast of the A Line's Duarte Station.

Currently, the Westminster Gardens campus is developing with 149 units of independent and assisted living housing in a variety of low-rise structures, which L.A. County Assessor records date to the 1920s and 1960s. Phased redevelopment could replace many of those structures with a total new structures featuring a combined sum of 550 affordable and market-rate independent living units, as well as new assisted living and memory care units.

Proposed conceptual planCity of Duarte

The completion of the project proposed by the specific plan updated could result in 400 more homes and 625,000 square feet of new development relative to what exists today, including new back-of-house functions, resident amenities, and retail space.

Plans from MIG show a new mixed-use building at the northwestern corner of the site, with buildings between three and four stories in height scattered throughout the property, and smaller independent living cottages located at the western and southern sides of the lot. Plans also show new park space located along Huntington Drive to the north, and the retention of the existing Morrison House at the southwest corner of the site.

According to a project description, redevelopment of the Westminster Gardens site would occur incrementally over a 15-to-20-year span.

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