Developer pulls out of project to bring senior living complex to Vernon

Local News

A senior living facility was on its way to Vernon but the developer has pulled out of the deal.

A company called Stoneleaf has been in contact with the city of Vernon to bring a new complex for senior living that would have 72 units.

Now, just a few months after the city approved the use of the land the company has dropped its plans to build the complex. 

Even though the city already has a few senior living facilities, the city may need another one before much longer.

“We do have a need as our community ages we need more places for those people to go who might be moving in from the surrounding rural areas or moving into town,” City Planner Monica Wilkinson said.  “They don’t want the house to take care of. They want a one bedroom. They want to be close to the hospital, close to healthcare, so we are anticipating more demand for that in the future.”

Stoneleaf pulled out of the deal because of the amount of money they would be making off of the new complex.

“They are going to have to issue debt and they are going to have some tax certificates with that, but still it have to cash flow where they can make money where it’s feasible,” City Manager Marty Mangum said. “Evidentally our rents are a little low to support the debt they would have to issue to do the development.”

The project was not far along and there was still a lot to do before construction started, but the city was trying to do everything they could to make it go smoothly.

“We are trying to be site ready, so we wanted to have the zoning application going in and be ready for them,” Wilkinson said. “So we could start the development process. We try to work with people as much as we can here. We don’t get that much new development, but when we do we try to work with people closely and kind of hold their hand through the process. It was very early.”

Because the city does not get much new development, losing this new business hurts.

“It’s disappointing but at the same token we don’t want something that isn’t going to be an asset to the community,” Mangum said.  “If it’s something that’s not cash flowing then the chances for that to be a viable industry are not good.”

With Stoneleaf backing out of this deal, Vernon will have to look elsewhere to fill a need that may become even greater in the future 

Both Mangum and Wilkinson said they think a deal for a facility like this will be completed either with Stoneleaf or another company in the future.

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