Athens Review, Athens, Texas

October 25, 2012

GBC’s $10 million SilverLeaf project to open soon

Connie Holubar
The Athens Review

Athens — Gun Barrel City – On Nov. 1, SilverLeaf, the new affordable senior housing community for seniors 55-plus in Gun Barrel City, will open its Community Room and Leasing Center, and soon after that, the first residents will be moving in. 

Sixteen homes are nearly complete, and have already been leased, A waiting list of as many as 50 people is being qualified for the remaining 64 units. 

The entire project will be complete, with every unit projected to be occupied, by June, 2013.

Mike Sugrue, the developer behind SilverLeaf, and president of StoneLeaf, Inc., is thrilled with his latest Gun Barrel City project.  The $10 million development was brought to the community through a joint effort of the Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation and Gun Barrel City, which provided about $300,000 in infrastructure and in-kind project support.  The project will benefit the entire lake area.

According to Sugrue, the EDC officers watched closely as his company built a SilverLeaf community in Chandler, and EDC and city officials were present when that community celebrated its grand opening. 

The Chandler property is 100-percent occupied, and has brought a vibrant new community to that small East Texas town.

Until the leasing office at SilverLeaf is complete, property manager Paula Standridge is working with prospective tenants using an office at the Gun Barrel City EDC. 

Residents must qualify for housing in the community, based on federal criteria for affordable senior housing.  But a recent “sneak peak” inside shows the construction quality is anything but cheap.

SilverLeaf homes feature an open-floor plan, with four one and two-bedroom units per building.  They feature Energy Star appliances and granite countertops, as well as large bedrooms with walk-in closets, vaulted ceilings in the living areas, a spacious master bath, and laundry hook-ups in every unit. 

Each apartment comes with covered carport parking.  There will be a total of 80 homes when the development is complete.

Sugrue, who has developed and built high-end condominium and single-family home projects in North Dallas, Richardson, Plano and other parts of Texas, as well as townhome developments, apartment complexes, senior housing and custom homes, says the Gun Barrel City location is “one of the best locations for affordable housing, since I’ve been doing this.”

From his office in Mabank, Sugrue is already looking at other locations, and potentially more projects in Gun Barrel City.

The City of Canton contacted Sugrue after seeing the Chandler property, and they have visited the Gun Barrel City location, and are currently discussing their options for affordable housing. Sugrue made his first presentation to the City Council and Economic Development Corporation in Canton this past week.

“We are very early in that process, but small towns in Texas all have a need for this sort of housing.  There is high demand.  It’s good for the community, for the citizens, and for business,” he says.

The project is providing about 120 jobs during construction, and Sugrue says it will account for about 12 full-time ongoing jobs with onsite employment and support personnel.

Projections by the Gun Barrel City EDC at the time the project was approved estimated the benefit to the community would provide a return on investment for many years to come. 

“Both the City and the Gun Barrel City EDC are proud to partner with SilverLeaf Affordable Senior Housing.  This project has made adjacent city property more valuable, and it provides a sense of community that will help the rest of our area grow. We look forward to doing more development projects with this excellent partner,” said Steve Webster, president of the EDC.

City Councilman Dennis Baade added that the development is particularly appealing to residents, because it will connect through walking paths directly to the city’s 21-acre park, with its amphitheatre, tennis, ballfields and other activities.

A grand opening will be held in early November.  For more information, visit www.silverleafgunbarrelcity.com.