Briarcliffe breaks ground on state-of-the-art facility


Seeing shovels in the ground has always been a special sight for Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena.

Perhaps that’s why Polisena was all smiles as he stood underneath a blue-top canopy with Akshay K. Talwar, CEO and president of Briarcliffe Gardens, last Wednesday while admiring an architect’s rendering of a new and historic construction project at the Johnston-based campus.

“It’s beautiful,” Polisena told Talwar.

The mayor added: “Akshay has always been a great corporate citizen in our town. He has shown faith and trust in my administration, which is evident by the investment he has made with this exciting project. It’s certainly a welcome addition to the town of Johnston.”

Soon thereafter, Polisena and Talwar were joined by seven other men who put on hard hats and grabbed gold-plated shovels to perform the ceremonial groundbreaking for The Preserve, a stunning, 49,500-square-foot building that will feature assisted living residences.

The Preserve marks the latest phase of the ever-expanding Briarcliffe Campus’ evolution into a full-service Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC.

After completion of the next phase, expected in April 2021, Briarcliffe will have evolved to an integrated care community consisting of independent living, traditional assisted living, two memory care assisted living residences and a highly acclaimed five-star, 122-bed skilled nursing facility.

The Preserve, Talwar said, “will feature apartments mostly with ground-level patios and Juliet balconies.”

“This is all consistent with our desire to create light and airy space that enhance health and promote a spirit of well-being,” Talwar said. “We will now be able to offer several levels of service with the ability to age in place with a peace of mind. As a mission driven organization constantly striving to meet the needs of our seniors, we identified some time ago a very real need to complete the continuum of care on our campus.”

As for The Preserve’s sign, Talwar said it represents “the best thinking of the larger Briarcliffe community.”

“We reached out to and incorporated ideas from our employees, physicians, family members, vendors, friends and consultants,” he said. “To strive for the best, to be the best, is not easy. It started with a concept and a vision more than 10 years ago, and we have taken our time and now will give form to that concept. This is very exciting for Briarcliffe and the community.”

Thus, the collective vision for The Preserve has become reality through the efforts of what Talwar called “our great development team.”

He said that crew includes Kyle M. Naylor, Briarcliffe vice president; Scott Pray, president, and Ron Laprise, senior vice president, of D.F. Pray General Contractors; Mehdi Khosrovani, and Jennifer Space of Nemd Architects Inc.; and Dennis DiPrete, president of DiPrete Engineering.

David Russo, project manager of DiPrete Engineering; Manny Barrows, senior vice president and team leader, Bank RI; and William Landry of Blish & Cavanagh LLP were also part of the development team. 


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