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NE Heights assisted living center opens

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MorningStar of Albuquerque, which opened to residents this week, offers assisted living and a dedicated area for residents with memory issues such as Alzheimer’s disease. (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — MorningStar of Albuquerque, a 69-suite assisted living community, is now open.

Denver-based MorningStar Senior Living, which broke ground on the complex earlier this year, welcomed its first residents Thursday to its Albuquerque facility at 8051 Palomas NE. The site, designed for 70-plus residents, will create about 40 jobs to provide 24/7 staffing, according  to a company spokeswoman. A licensed nurse is at the facility seven days a week.

MorningStar’s arrival in New Mexico represents a $17 million investment. Albuquerque resident Larry Mascaranas is the executive director.

The facility will offer assisted living and a dedicated area for residents with memory issues such as Alzheimer’s disease. Several of the suites are designed for “companion living,” said Lorna Lee, MorningStar’s vice president of marketing.

The senior residential community’s amenities include restaurant-style dining with meals prepared by an executive chef, various community spaces, a spa, massage room and activities program.

Founded 12 years ago, MorningStar’s two-story Albuquerque facility is the 25th for the company, which also envisions a similar community in Santa Fe. There are other facilities in various stages of development throughout the West, said Lee.

While some operating licenses are still pending, the business already is entertaining interest from future residents.  Lee said deposits have been made for 60 percent of the units at the Albuquerque location.

A majority of residents are expected to be drawn from neighborhoods in the Northeast Heights.

The facility will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through the weekend.

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