Assisted living facility planned for McClellan
by Paige Rentz
Sep 18, 2013 | 5223 views |  0 comments | 88 88 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A vacant Building next to Casey Estates at McClellan that developers hope to turn into an assisted living facility. Photo by Stephen Gross.
A vacant Building next to Casey Estates at McClellan that developers hope to turn into an assisted living facility. Photo by Stephen Gross.
A vote by the McClellan Development Authority Wednesday brought the group one step closer to a deal that will bring an assisted living facility to Anniston.

The MDA approved the issuance of $7 million in tax-exempt bonds on behalf of the developer, McClellan Assisted Living Facility LP, to finance a large portion of the $8.5 million project. Both the Anniston City Council and the Calhoun County Commission authorized the bond issuance last week.

“This ties the knot for us to go ahead and complete the sale,” said Robin Scott, executive director of the MDA.

Scott said securing the remaining project funds through the bonds will allow for the closing on the property sale, which has been in the works for more than two years. He expects to close by the end of the month.

This is the first time the MDA has used its authority to issue bonds.

“This is an arrow in our quiver as far as helping companies come to McClellan and find financing for their projects,” Scott said.

The mid-rise apartment building on Polkville Drive adjacent to Casey Estates senior apartments once housed officers in one- and two-bedroom quarters, each with a bathroom and kitchenette, Scott said. The building will be converted into a 64-unit assisted living facility that will include four independent living units, a community room, dining room, meal service kitchen, laundry facilities, and staff and storage facilities.

According to Doug Williams, bond attorney with Maynard, Cooper & Gale, at least 13 of the building’s living units will be designated for residents who make 50 percent or less of the area’s median income, or $18,600 based on figures from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

These low-income units, Williams said, will allow the developer to take advantage of the bonds. The MDA’s participation was required to receive the tax-exempt status through the state, and the City Council and County Commission’s approval of the bonds were necessary to comply with federal requirements for the tax exempt status.

Williams said the MDA has no financial obligation in regard to the bonds, which are being purchased by a private investor, Greenwich Investment Management, and repaid by the developer.

In addition to the facility planned on Polkville Drive, the MDA’s Scott said another deal with the same developer is in the works at Buckner Circle, the neighborhood that once served as officers’ residences at Fort McClellan. That project to convert five properties over 10 acres into an independent living community for senior citizens will likely close in March, he said.

Scott said the second project has been delayed as the developer works to secure federal tax credits for the restoration of the buildings, which lie within the Fort McClellan Post Headquarters Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Scott said these projects return property to the city’s tax base, and independent living facilities will bring retirees with disposable income to the area.

City facilities at McClellan such as the Cane Creek Golf Course, Aquatic and Fitness Center and Senior Citizen & Therapeutic Recreation Center are a boost to the effort.

“All of these amenities help to draw retirees who just want to be in a beautiful community that offers something for them to do,” he said.

Attempts to reach representatives and companies associated with the developers were unsuccessful Wednesday.

In other business, the authority:

• Approved a more than $8.55 million Environmental Services Cooperative Agreement budget for ongoing cleanup efforts at the former fort.

• Approved moving two bank accounts from Wells Fargo to avoid fees. The MDA’s money market account will be transferred to F&M Bank, and the account that holds its ESCA funds will be transferred to BB&T.

Staff writer Paige Rentz: 256-235-3564. On Twitter @PRentz_Star.

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