Autumn Trace

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Though the project has been delayed by this year’s long winter and wet spring, it is hoped that it will be able to open by the first week of August.

RENSSELAER — Autumn Trace, a new assisted-living community for those of a certain age, will be opening its doors sometime later this summer.

The facility, estimated to cost around $6 million, is set to include various services and activities for locals to enjoy once it is completed and ready.

The property it rests on was notably sold to Autumn Trace Communities by the leadership of St. Joseph’s College.

Joe Tesmer, vice president of sales for Autumn Trace Communities, said the goal was initially to finish the project by late spring 2019, though he admitted last fall that it may ultimately be finished closer to summer.

“We are really looking for the first week in August to open,” Executive Director Kristi Ritter said last week.

The facility will house 44 individual suites for locals in need. It will also have a restaurant, hair salon, movie theater, chapel, card room, an activities/business room and four screened-in patios on each corner, as well as two courtyards.

The suites will range from studio-size to smaller single-bedrooms. Assistance offered will include bed management, showers, incontinence care and mobility services.

Ritter said a false rumor has been spread that the facility is a nursing home, instead of a senior community.

“The only criteria is you have to be at least 55 years young,” Ritter said. “We are still taking reservations. We are filling up fast. But we still have a limited number of one-bedroom and studio apartments available.”

Ritter said one other aspect of service for veterans who may seek to live in the facility is that Veterans Affairs benefits can be included. A veteran’s pension is paid directly to the veteran or spouse, retroactive to the first of the month, following the VA’s receipt of the application.

“This is something people don’t know. You can get the aid and attendance of VA benefits,” Ritter said.

Tesmer said the company was actually approached by several individuals from Rensselaer about the idea, who said the city was in need of a senior community.

“After we were approached, we did our studies and we found out, indeed, there was a big need for these types of services,” he said.

Anyone with questions about the facility is encouraged to contact Ritter at or at 219-964-2110; or visit