By Jay Cook |HOLMDEL – The largest health care system in Monmouth County is reviving nearly 20-year-old plans for two new facilities on currently vacant land on Route 35.Dubbed “The Villas,” Meridian Quality Care will present the Holmdel Planning Board with blueprints for an assisted living facility and a skilled nursing facility within the next two to three months.The property at 200-300 Commons Way is north of Holmdel Commons shopping center, on about 10 acres of undeveloped land. The closest business is Holmdel Imaging, 100 Commons Way.One lot is envisioned as home to a 35,355-square-foot assisted living facility with 110 beds, for residents in their late 70s to early 80s. It would stand four-stories tall and cost $30 million. A generator to service the building, and parking, lighting and landscape improvements are planned for the property.The facility would offer an approximately 2,500-square-foot full-service spa, a movie theater, bistro, coffee shop, exercise room, great room and computer room. The apartments would boast 9-foot-high ceilings and the common areas would feature marble floors and crown moldings.“You won’t find an assisted living facility in New Jersey that has all the things we’re offering,” said Stephen Baker, president of Meridian Quality Care. “This will be state-of-the-art, and we want it to be.”With a timely approval from the planning board, Baker anticipated construction could begin near the end of 2017, and the building could open in early 2019. Once the assisted living facility is complete, Meridian Quality Care would begin construction on the skilled nursing facility, the cost of which has not been determined.The three-story, 31,000-square-foot building would have 130 beds and a 1,680-square-foot maintenance garage, as well as site improvements. This facility would serve residents in their late 80s and early 90s, and include a post-surgery rehabilitation center as well.Meridian first received planning board approval for the project in 1999, Baker said. In 2010, the company returned to the board for approval for relocation of the buildings on the land, along with other general modifications and local code upgrades. They received extensions in 2012 and 2013. Moving into the northern Monmouth County corridor was important for the company, Baker said, because he believes that current market, stretching from Matawan down to the Navesink River, is lacking in assisted living options. “That area is significantly worn and aged in the sense of facilities,” he said.He said his proposed facility would be like comparing “a Motel 6 versus a Ritz Carlton.”The company’s closest Meridian facility is located in Shrewsbury. Meridian Nursing and Rehab at Shrewsbury, a skilled nursing facility, was built in 2008.Baker said having such an active community is important for the future residents. Amenities like a great room or a movie theatre allow for social interaction.“It gives them socialization, just like we all get through social media and school,” Baker said about the residents. “They’ll see other people their age and be able to interact with them.”The land for the proposed complex was once home to the Lily Tulip plant, a million-square-foot facility that manufactured paper cups, predominantly Dixie-brand items. The plant was active for about 40 years, then closed in 1990, according to the New Jersey Office of State Planning.In addition to the large shopping center nearby, two 55-and-older adult communities are found within a one-mile radius – Cedar Village and Village Grande.This article was first published in the May 4-11, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.