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Senior village planned in Albany

ALBANY, Ga. -- Citizens in one of two northwest Albany neighborhoods can start planning to welcome a large contingent of senior residents sometime in 2014.

Josh Thomason with Atlanta-based Peachtree Housing Communities told Albany City commissioners at their business meeting Tuesday night that his company is currently completing "due diligence" necessary to build a senior housing apartment complex at one of two locations: a 59-unit facility at Pointe North Boulevard or a 45-unit complex at the intersection of Gillionville Road and Meadowlark Drive.

"I know we're going forward with one of these developments; I'm just not sure which one yet," Thomason told commissioners. "If we build at Pointe North, that will be called Pointe North Senior Village, and if we build at the other location it will be called Meadowlark Senior Village."

Thomason said residents of the facility will have to be 55 or over.

"We're going to have a computer center, a fitness center, a property manager and a maintenance manager on-site," the developer said. "We'll also be paying full property taxes and sewer fees.

"I'm coming before you tonight at a public meeting because our company believes in working openly with the leaders of communities where we locate."

City Manager James Taylor said Wednesday morning Peachtree Housing should have no problem building the complex in Albany.

"Both locations that they're looking at are zoned for that kind of housing, so they don't have to go through any approval process," Taylor said. "From everything I've heard, I think it's pretty much a done deal. And I believe it's a great opportunity for our community.

"The company has met all the requirements; now it's a matter of them getting the financing in order."

Peachtree built a similar senior complex off Forrester Parkway in Lee County, and officials at Albany's neighbor to the north say the housing complex has been a welcome addition.

"I'll be honest with you; I was against that development to begin with," said Lee County Commissioner Ed Duffy, who was chairman of the commission when the Peachtree Housing complex was built there. "I didn't know what they were bringing to our community, and I had a multitude of questions. But their folks answered everything I asked to my satisfaction.

"They told me about other similar developments they'd built, and I went to visit the one in Cordele. Everything was well-maintained, and they had a manager living on-site to maintain order. Everything they said they were going to do up front, they did. They were straight shooters. And it's turned out that I haven't heard one complaint about that facility."

Thomason told Albany commissioners he hoped to have all necessary advance work completed by November so that his company could start construction early in 2014.