Groundbreaking at The Commons at St. Anthony’s
August 16, 2022
This past Friday, we held the much-anticipated Groundbreaking at The Commons at St. Anthony’s in Amarillo, Texas! It took many years to get this project the approval and funding it needed, and we couldn’t be prouder to be a development partner with @KRS Housing, LLC and @Crossroads Housing Development Corporation. Wait until you see this beautiful building come back to life as senior housing, opening in Summer 2024!
Also supported by: Potter County, City of Amarillo, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, First United Bank Texas, Walker & Dunlop, Commerce Bank, Boston Financial, @True Casa Consulting, @Commonwealth Construction, @M+A.
Article and pictures by: Michael Cuviello, Amarillo Globe-News, originally posted at Amarillo Globe-News
On Friday morning, developers from The Commons at St. Anthony’s project and local officials broke ground on the 124-unit complex for affordable housing aimed at seniors 55 and older at the site of the historic 120-year-old St. Anthony’s hospital.
The building has sat boarded up and unoccupied since the hospital closed in 2004. Once a crown jewel of Amarillo, the hospital had become a declining eyesore with busted windows and a site of continued vagrancy. Expected to open in the summer of 2024, the senior housing will be available to low- and mid-income seniors 55 years old and above. The overall project is set to cost $21 million to transform the current location into a senior apartment complex with curb appeal.
Kent Hance, a former U.S House Representative and former Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, is president of KRS Housing, LLC, the real estate developer who partnered with the city and state to make the affordable senior apartment facility a reality at the historic site.
“The St. Anthony’s Hospital campus has been vacant for decades and has been left to deteriorate in downtown Amarillo,” Hance said. “We now have the opportunity to bring this beautiful building back to life and help address the community’s affordable housing needs. I am very committed to this area.”
Hance said that as a 6-year-old growing up in Dimmit, Texas, this building was the first hospital he had ever visited in his life, and the building seemed the biggest building he had ever seen in his life. He said his connection to the city of Amarillo never faded, no matter where he found himself.
He said that many other entities had tried and failed to make a project work with the historic building. With prodding from local leaders, Hance said that he got involved. After four years of working toward getting the project approved, Hance said he was anxious to make an impact on the community that most needs it. While the building is a sturdy structure, Hance said that there is still a lot of work to be done to get it ready for senior apartments. Getting federal tax credits for using a historic building was a major boon to the project, according to Hance.
“This will be something that when people drive by, they can be proud of using the wonderful architecture from over a century ago,” Hance said. “I think people are going to be excited about this. It will be good for the community to attract other businesses. If we fill up pretty fast, which I think we will, we will do a second project on the west side of this.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Freda Powell, who has been an ardent advocate for the North Heights community, said the value to the city and the community to give a high-quality, affordable living community for seniors is a commitment to taking care of those who work hard to make Amarillo a great place to live.
“Right now, I am passionate about redeveloping a historic hospital that has sat vacant for decades,” Powell said. “This will be such an asset to the neighborhood to have affordable senior housing for those that wish to stay in the community while on a fixed income. This also brings opportunities for other businesses to bring services to a community that is lacking many of the basic amenities available in other areas of the city.”
Asked about the impact on the revitalization of the North Heights community and downtown Amarillo, Powell emphasized that this facility could bring more pharmacies and grocery stores to the area as well as other businesses.
“The vision with this facility is that the sky is the limit in what can happen. There has already been a business that opened recently across the street to this project, and this housing makes it a prime spot for people to utilize business services that are badly needed. I have a heart and passion for our senior community, and I want to make sure that they have every opportunity to thrive like everyone else,” Powell said.
Joseph Peterson, development chair for the North Heights Advisory Association, spoke about his group’s involvement in the process after receiving the property as a donation.
“We are excited to be at this point with getting this project moving forward,” Peterson said. “This has been the epitome of public-private partnerships to do good things for the community and to revitalize areas in the city that badly need it.
Peterson said that this is the kind of commitment in the area that is going to light a fire for growth in the North Heights community.
With the location being one of the many entities for growth in the area, Potter County Commissioner Alphonso Vaughn opined on the unity in the community in government for this project.
“In an era of divisiveness among people and entities, it is good to see the togetherness of vision, uniting people for a community where housing is paramount in an area that has been economically blighted for so long,” Vaughn said. “The redevelopment of the oldest building in Amarillo will (provide) aesthetically affordable apartment housing in an area that is longing forBack to All