A nonprofit group quietly closed an assisted-living home earlier this year that had served Hampton for more than 60 years.
The organization that oversaw the home isn't sure what the next step is, but the group's president says it probably won't continue as an assisted-living facility.
Shelton on the Bay is at 1300 N. Mallory St., roughly between Phoebus and Buckroe Beach.
The assisted-living home is run by the nonprofit Peninsula Home for the Aged, which was established in 1947 when a patron named Mary Shelton Sweeny offered to donate several acres between Mallory Street and Mill Creek to build a home for the aged, provided the home was named in honor of her mother and the land would "always be used to provide facilities for the care and comfort of aged people."
The facility became known as Shelton Home, and later Shelton on the Bay, after it opened in 1953.
A second wing was added in 1964 and a third in 1967, much of it built with money bequeathed by Shelton after her death. The facility was licensed to handle up to 55 residents and recently housed 39, according to its website.
The 17-acre property on Mill Creek, including the building, was valued at $1.47 million this year, according to the Hampton real estate assessor's office.
Randy Howell, the president of the Peninsula Home for the Aged Board of Trustees, said maintaining the original facility left the enterprise financially unsustainable.
According to public tax filings from the group, Shelton on the Bay spent more than it brought in in 2013, the latest year for which records are available. The organization was more than $260,000 in the hole by the end of the year.
"The building was very old, it was bleeding cash because of its age," Howell said. "The building was killing us and we knew that we could not ourselves build a new facility."
The Peninsula Home for the Aged Board of Trustees decided in January that they would close the home, notifying residents via letter on Feb. 12.
In that letter, the group writes that "in keeping with that ongoing mission, Shelton on the Bay anticipates entering into an agreement that will result in the demolition of the existing facility and the construction of an expanded senior living campus that, as envisioned, would include independent living, assisted living and memory-care components."
All of the people who were living in the building at the time were placed in other living accommodations before the facility finally closed on April 30, Howell said. The organization hasn't employed anyone since May.
Howell says now that, after discussions with private developers to try to get a new facility built, it looks like the organization will move away from assisted living.
"There's just no one that wants to come in (to build assisted living). The numbers don't play well with another assisted-living facility there," Howell said. "There have been a couple of people interested in building senior living, independent living."
He said the organization would keep to the original spirit of the home — serving seniors.
"The place started out as a retirement community many years ago and sort of morphed into assisted living," he said, so moving back to a more independent senior-living development wouldn't be outside of the mission of the Peninsula Home for the Aged.
Murphy can be reached by phone at 757-247-4760.