Assisted-living facility could be built soon in Gibson City

GIBSON CITY — Construction of a 46-unit assisted living facility northeast of Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Middle School could begin by July 15 if all goes smoothly for developers.

Joe Warner of Rantoul announced at Monday night’s meeting of the city council-appointed Assisted Living Committee that his partnership signed a contract Monday for purchase of eight acres in the Railside Estates development. Based on phone conversations, he expects the current owner, Bill Brady of Bloomington, to also sign the contract quickly.

Warner said the only contingency in the contract is that the partnership receive the same TIF-based rebate of property taxes that was granted to Brady’s Pinehurst Development. That agreement calls for 25 percent of real estate taxes generated by the improvement to go to local schools, with about 75 percent rebated to the developer.

Warner would like the city to extend the expiration of the city’s TIF 2, if possible.

Mayor Dan Dickey said any extension will have to be investigated for feasibility before he can bring it before the city council.

Dickey believes the remaining life of the TIF as it now stands would mean the developers would have the TIF tax advantage for about 10 years.

Warner’s partners include his brother Gene “Gerald” Warner of Rantoul and builder Reggie Phillips, owner of Unique Homes of Charleston. Warner said the partners are not asking for any infrastructure investment by the city. He said the partners are not seeking other investors as financing for the facility is not a problem.

Warner said the group chose the location over the property east of County Market because it is part of an existing TIF district, the views are better, and it is near the school and hospital.

The location would mean that Melvin Street would be extended to the north and end in the facility’s parking lot. Access to any further development to the east would need to come from Prairie Smoke Drive or the township road on the eastern edge of Railside Golf Course.

The currently planned, but not yet approved, Phase II development of Railside Estates would be west of the assisted living facility’s location and end in a cul-de-sac.

Warner said he would construct the planned retention pond on his parcel as specified previously by Brady’s engineering firm. He would then be willing to share it with future housing development and possibly turn it into a fishing pond for residents.

Although the committee has reviewed two interested developers, Chairman Chuck Aubry said the committee’s role is advisory only and is not to make the actual selection.

He added that by this group’s announcement it would be likely that the developers of Autumn Fields in Hoopeston would no longer be interested in a Gibson City location.

Members of the committee recently toured the Hoopeston facility and made favorable comments, including its inclusion of independent living units. Members also plan to soon tour Warner’s group’s most recently completed facility in Chatham.

Warner said he will strongly recommend to his partners that independent living units be considered in the Gibson City development. He said his idea would be to construct one duplex condo on the property, and if it sold quickly, to construct another.

Warner’s partnership is willing to move ahead without a formal marketing survey because he doesn’t feel one is necessary for the Gibson City facility.

The committee is continuing to seek interest in this type of facility, however, by distributing surveys. The surveys list approximate prices and ask if people would prefer one-bedroom or two-bedroom units to give developers guidance.

Aubry thanked Gibson Area Hospital which has produced a short survey and is mailing it to all 20,000 households in its service area.
Interested individuals are also invited to share in surveys that will be circulated to church and community organization members.

The survey of interest is also available on the city’s website at www.gibsoncityillinois.com.

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