Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 10, 2014

It’s for seniors

AEDC looks at new development for senior citizens

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — The Athens Economic Development Corporation heard a presentation on Thursday concerning a large senior-oriented development in the works for an area west of East Texas Medical Center.

The AEDC Board of Directors took no action on the request by the developers of the Adams Ranch Project, but asked for more information on the plan.

If it becomes a reality, the Adams Ranch Project will be located on a 95-acre tract in south Athens.

Hank Fedder, speaking on behalf of the Dallas-based  group planning the project, said the development would be built in stages, the first of which would be devoted to Alzheimer’s and memory-care patients.

“We have looked at probably 30 rural communities. We chose Athens for a number of reasons,” Fedder told the board.

Reasons for selecting Athens include the demographics of the population and the city’s proximity to Dallas.  The developers are asking the AEDC to help build infrastructure, and provide water and sewer to a spine road that runs through the property.

“The revamping of the hospital is extremely important to this concept.” Fedder said. “We’ve already engaged them, and are in preliminary discussions.”

The goal of the project is to offer a better lifestyle for seniors at a better price for them. Beginning with the Alzheimer’s and memory-care phase, the development eventually will include rehabilitation, assisted living and multi-family facilities.

“We think the multi-family element is undeserved here as well,” Fedder said.

In 2010, ETMC broke ground on a $32.4 million expansion project. Fedder said his group will pursue a close relationship with the hospital, while launching the Adams Ranch Project.

In other action, the AEDC chose a new board member. If the Athens City Council approves, Carmen Hunt will fill the AEDC spot left by Tere Lawyer, who resigned last year. Hunt, director of Texas Ragtime, is a resident of Athens.