Developers eye senior community for $7.84M facelift – Sherman Denison Herald Democrat

As growth and new development hits Texoma, the need for housing on all levels has become a conversation for many communities across the region. While the new growth has spark interest in developers looking to bring new housing to the community, others are turning their attention to revitalizing the region’s existing housing stock and providing an affordable option for residents.

The Texas Housing Foundation recently expressed interest in purchasing and investing nearly $7.84 million in the Park Manor Senior Community, located on FM 1417 in Sherman. Representatives for the authority said they hope to make the development an asset for Sherman and older residents in need of affordable housing.

“A lot of these properties are reaching, if you will, their shelf life and it is our mission to preserve these affordable units,” THF President Mark Mayfield said in a phone interview Wednesday. “Affordable housing is becoming an issue throughout the entire state and a lot of these complexes that are reaching their affordability thresholds are being sold to market developers.”

The possible redevelopment of the senior community was included in the most recent agenda of the Sherman City Council as a part of the consent agenda. City Manager Robbie Hefton said the state law requires that the city sign off on the project as it involves an outside agency working within its jurisdiction. However, Hefton said the city has no financial stake in the project.

City documents for the item state that the project could see about $7.84 million invested in the property, or about $40,000 per unit. The improvements would include extensive work on the property’s clubhouse, including a new food pantry, furniture, artwork and fixtures, among other improvements.

The project also calls for improvements to each unit, including appliances, heating and air systems, water monitoring systems and other improvements,  in order to bring them up to modern standards for energy efficiency, Mayfield said.

“There would be a near complete redo of the property itself, starting with the exterior,” he said. “We redesigned the clubhouse for the use of the residence, but all of the buildings will be repainted.”

The Texas  Housing Foundation was created in 2005 from the Marble Falls Housing Authority, Mayfield said. From there, the group continued to grow over the years with the purpose of increasing the stock of affordable housing across the state. By 2018, the organization had expanded to cover a five-county area in Texas.

For the Sherman property, Mayfield said he hoped to have rental rates at about 60 percent of the area average. Some units could drop as low as 30 percent, he said.

For his part, Hefton said these projects are very rare for Sherman as there are few low-income apartments of their kind in the city. However, the topic of affordable housing and the city’s existing housing stock are expected to be a part of upcoming plans for future growth within the city.

“The city of Sherman has been above 95% occupancy in multifamily housing for several years now, and senior housing in particular is in constant demand,” Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said. “The Park Manor project will help to rejuvenate some of our existing housing, and it’s hopefully indicative of a larger trend toward improved living options for seniors in this area, both in terms of quality and quantity.”