HOT SPRINGS, AR - A long-abandoned nursing home nestled next to Hot Springs National Park will be transformed into an independent living facility by spring 2017. Under development by McGrew Properties, the new rental property named Rose Villa Senior Living, will serve people ages 55 and older living on fixed incomes.
The project was awarded a $224,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant in 2016 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and member institution BancorpSouth Bank. The funds will be used for renovating the building into a 32-bed, non-assisted-living facility.
“The clean-up began August 29, and a lot has to happen,” said Richard McGrew, the project developer. “We are essentially going to gut the building and start over.”
The building is within walking distance of Hot Springs’ historic Bathhouse Row, and it will feature a semi-enclosed courtyard and 25 units, each with a kitchen, living area, bathroom, and bedroom. Transportation services to local grocery and drug stores are also planned for the community.
“A common bond for community development and revitalization was formed from my conversations with McGrew Properties. BancorpSouth Bank knew that Rose Villa was a project to champion because it will provide affordable housing for seniors. It is a great example of collaborating to revitalize,” said Evelyn Edwards, vice president and CRA specialist at BancorpSouth Bank. “Rose Villa is an adaptive reuse of an existing building, which helps renew the surrounding neighborhood. Thank you, FHLB Dallas for the financial partnership and McGrew Properties for the vision to restore this needed facility for seniors.”
FHLB Dallas annually returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants to the communities served by its member institutions such as BancorpSouth Bank. AHP grants fund a variety of projects, including home rehabilitation and modifications for low-income, elderly, and special-needs residents; down payment and closing cost assistance for qualified first-time homebuyers; and the construction of low-income, multifamily rental communities and single-family homes.
Mr. McGrew and his wife, Debbie, founded their residential development firm 15 years ago. In that time, they have built or renovated a dozen buildings for affordable housing, primarily serving low- to moderate-income families.
“This is our first Affordable Housing Program grant,” Mr. McGrew said. “Working with BancorpSouth Bank has been terrific. I learned about the grant while serving on an advisory council with a BancorpSouth representative.”
In 2016, FHLB Dallas awarded $7.8 million in AHP grants to 27 projects that will result in 1,499 new or renovated housing units. Arkansas received $273,000 this year for the construction or renovation of 39 units. Since the inception of the AHP in 1990, FHLB Dallas has awarded more than $245 million in AHP and AHP-funded grants to assist more than 45,500 families.
“BancorpSouth Bank has been a strong and committed partner in the community investment arena for 25 years,” said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. “We have undertaken more than 75 AHP grants together since 1991, and this is another fantastic example of their community values in action.”