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Developer determined to bring project to Rowlett: Senior project planned on new site
The Rowlett City Council gave its support to a project to develop a senior living facility in the city.
This is the second time the developer has brought a senior living project before the council. The original project also had the council's support but was unable to gain approval for tax credits through the 2012 Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) Tax Credit Program to make the project feasible.
A representative with Churchill Residential addressed the council regarding the development. When the proposal was given for consideration during the TDHCA's 2012 funding cycle, the applicant proposed a project at 5404 Kenwood Drive. The developer was unable to obtain the same property for a resubmission and has relocated the planned project to the 5500 block of Old Rowlett Road.
The new design plan calls for a four-story building with 136 units instead of a three-story main building and several cottages as originally planned. The change was made due to the new location. The cottages were originally being built to serve as a buffer to the single-family residential homes that exist adjacent to the old site on Kenwood Drive. The Old Rowlett Road site already has a buffer so the cottages are not necessary. The facility will not have a commercial kitchen and will prepare meals for residents on-site. There will be a warming kitchen to be used for coffee and catering events.
As part of the 2013 TDHCA's tax credit program application, the developer had to acquire commitment resolution from the city. The state changed the requirements relative to receiving competitive points for funding sources for projects. In the past, applicants received competitive points for securing funding through county and regional housing finance corporations. Under the new guidelines, these entities no longer qualify; only qualified political subdivisions can provide a funding commitment resolution for $1.2 million.
"Typically they would go to a regional source to get funding commitment. The TDHCA no longer allows this to be eligible for credit. They now have to deal directly with the city," said Jim Grabenhorst, director of economic development.
The city has a policy for economic development incentives to provide loans and grants to promote economic development and to stimulate business and commercial activity. The city's intent will assign the economic development incentive agreement to a third party to assume all obligations and liabilities associated with said loan.
"We wouldn't enter into incentive negotiations until they get their credits," Grabenhorst said.
Approval of the resolution does not guarantee approval of the required zoning. Any future zoning case will be reviewed on its own merits based on approval. The city staff anticipates that an official zoning request will be submitted to the city by July 31.