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Marshall Square apartments will cater to upscale seniors

Posted: March 6, 2013 - 3:04pm  |  Updated: June 6, 2013 - 12:16pm
Special An artist's rendering provided by Resort Lifestyle Communities represents the type facility planned for construction in Marshall Square in Evans. The company plans to build a 130-unit, age-restricted luxury apartment complex for seniors.  Special
Special
Special An artist's rendering provided by Resort Lifestyle Communities represents the type facility planned for construction in Marshall Square in Evans. The company plans to build a 130-unit, age-restricted luxury apartment complex for seniors.

 


Luxury apartment accommodations for seniors will be a part of Marshall Square in Evans after developers won final rezoning approval Tuesday.


Columbia County commissioners voted unanimously, with District 3 Commissioner Charles Allen abstaining, to approve a revision to the Marshall Square zoning restrictions that limit the number of apartments that can be built on the site.


Those limits led to a $57.5 million lawsuit against the county in 2009, later settled when the county purchased 25 acres of Marshall Square.


Tuesday’s vote will allow Resort Lifestyle Communities, of Lincoln, Neb., to build an age-restricted, 130-unit complex with an expected value of $20 million on an 8.6-acre parcel at the corner of North Belair Road and Ronald Reagan Drive.


One condition of that vote is that, if the facility is ever sold, it can’t be used for anything other than as an apartment complex for residents age 55-older unless it’s again rezoned, said Columbia County District 2 Commissioner Trey Allen.


The apartments will be built on the private portion of the property, not on the county-owned land.


The facility is part of an ambitious growth plan for the company, which currently operates nine such facilities in five states and plans to build four to six more each year, said Josh Thornton, assistant vice president of finance for Resort Lifestyle Communities.


Those communities are self-contained, providing dining and recreational facilities along with an interior “town square” of storefronts providing services to tenants who live independently in individual apartments.


“We like to think of our communities as a cruise ship on land, if you will,” Thornton said. “It’s an all-inclusive package that you would associate with the words ‘luxury’ and ‘resort.’”


The three-story facility planned for Marshall Square will have about 165 residents in 130 units, with anticipated average rent of about $3,000 per month, Thornton said. The “all-inclusive” price includes meals, utilities, shuttle transportation and activities.


Some of those activities will take place in the complex’s 150-seat theater, which also will open occasionally for community events, Thornton said.


“One of the biggest challenges and concerns for the senior community today ... is they isolate themselves and alienate from social activity when they lose a spouse or loved one,” he said. “One of the things we try to do through our activities is to draw them out, to get them involved not only with their fellow residents but with the community.”


The attraction of Marshall Square is its proximity to the Evans Town Center, Thornton said. “One of the things we love about the location is the amenities readily available from a walking perspective,” including the library and Lady Antebellum Pavilion.


Columbia County Planning and Development Division Director Richard Harmon said he expects permitting for the site will be ready in a month or so.


“You’re probably going to see the building coming out of the ground in May,” said Paul Ritchie, architect for the facility’s contractor, Cameron General Contractors of Lincoln, Neb. Construction is expected to take about 14 months, he added.

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Comments (13)

Riverman1

Another Upscale Apartment Complex

Although, I realize the necessity of the county having adequate housing and that often means apartments, I have to smile at the description. Has any apartment complex ever been built that did't say it was "upscale?"

Riverman1

Throw in a baseball stadium

Throw in a baseball stadium if you are going to build that many apartments.

Little Lamb

Abstaining

What kind of heartwarming experience did Charles Allen get by abstaining?

Barry Paschal

Allen is related to the property owners

Charles Allen is related to the property owners. He stated that when he abstained. He typically abstains from votes on matters involving Marshall Square.

Little Lamb

150-seat Theater

There is already a small theater over at the library building, which is within spitting distance of Marshall Square. Couldn't the developers have thought of something different?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thanks for the info, Barry. Abstaining when you have a conflict of interest is the right thing to do. However, I thought the county bought the property where the apartments were to be built. If that is the case, ALL the commissioners should have abstained.

:-)

Riverman1

Honestly, the more I read

Honestly, the more I read about it, the better it sounds. I wonder if their stores will be open to the public?

Barry Paschal

Theater and abstentions

Little Lamb: The theater, which has just 150 seats (about half the size of the Jabez) is primarily for use only by the residents, as are most of the amenities in the facility. It's not really a movie theater, though it can be used for movies. It's more like a big community room where they would have everything from dances to meetings to, well, movies. They also have small meeting rooms and a billiards room, along with a small workout center (looks to be about the size of what you'd see in a large hotel).

The property where this will be built is not on the portion owned by the county. It's owned by Allen's cousin.

Riverman: I'm not certain, but it appears the stores in the interior would be open to the public. But basically they're also similar to what you would see in a big hotel: A hair salon, run by an outside vendor; a bank, also run as a branch by a local bank; a sundries store; and probably a couple of other small things. Nice, but probably nothing that would make you visit just for that. The whole place does look pretty impressive, based on the slides from their existing facilities.

soapy_725

Le Loophole, Mon Amie

One condition of that vote is that, if the facility is ever sold, it can’t be used for anything other than as an apartment complex for residents age 55-older unless it’s again rezoned, said Columbia County District 2 Commissioner Trey Allen.

It might be sold before it is opened? Way to go Trey. Rezoning at the drop of a political hat is so CC.

What happened to the little shops on the pedestrian only streets of Evans(townee)? Master Plan? Seems they became strip malls across from Wally World that cannot sustain a profit.

Upscale Section Eight? 55 and older is not a restraint to government assisted living.

soapy_725

A St. John's Tower without a saint. LOL

That area behind the pavilion on N. Belair Rd is becoming a traffic joke. The traffic circles are starting to resemble figure eights. When everyone yields, is that not a four way stop? In Louisiana and Europe, traffic circles have more than one lane so that traffic is continuous.

Barry Paschal

Government assisted?

Soapy, the anticipated monthly rent for living in this facility is about $3,000 - hardly within reach of any government-assisted tenants.

Little Lamb

$3,000 a month

That's not within reach of what most current apartment residents consider reasonable in Columbia County. California, maybe, but not around here. There will likely be discounts if this thing ever gets off the ground. Still, approval of this residential project appears to conflict with what commissioners said when they were fighting the developer in the Armani suit and then bought the property.

Barry Paschal

Rent price

Keep in mind: These apartments don't compete with garden-variety apartments. These are "all-inclusive," which means they include all meals, utilities and activities. Compare to Washington Commons or Brandon Wilde.

Little Lamb

Strange PUD

Let's see, the PUD zoning had multiple uses set for the property — hotel, retail, fine dining, professional office, rental housing, condominium housing, greenspace, etc. — each one designated into a unified whole. Then, when an apartment developer put his plan on the table for a large apartment complex (at variance with the approved PUD) and then had the property owners sue the county when his plans were disapproved, the county bought up the land so the apartments would not be built. Now, the county approves apartments on some other parcel that was never intended to be residential in the first place.

I hope Columbia County never again approves another PUD project. They just don't keep their promises on these projects.

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