As­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­ity is back on track with new owner

The Bradenton Herald - - Business - BY MARK YOUNG my­oung@braden­ton.com

Three years ago, re­de­vel­op­ment on 14th Street West was stag­nant. But an as­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­ity project was be­ing touted as a cat­a­lyst to at­tract more de­vel­op­ment into the area.

Con­struc­tion started, but it all went quiet a year later as the de­vel­oper walked away from the project with­out ex­pla­na­tion. It had be­come a ghost town and the sparkling gem at 3503 14th St. W. faded into an­other empty build­ing that was start­ing to fall apart.

En­ter Reg­gie Phillips, an Illi­nois State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive who calls Anna Maria Is­land his win­ter home, and hap­pens to be in the as­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­ity busi­ness. Phillips has built sev­eral fa­cil­i­ties in Illi­nois and has taken over what was once go­ing to be called Com­fort Cove Se­nior Care, but will now be called Vil­las of Holly Brook, his mar­ket brand for mul­ti­ple fa­cil­i­ties abroad.

When Phillips says he builds as­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­i­ties, he means he builds them. Phillips was on hand Fri­day work­ing along side crews who were be­gin­ning the painstak­ing work of fix­ing all the con­struc­tion flaws as­so­ci­ated with the pre­vi­ous project. Those fi­nan­cial prob­lems in keep­ing pace with poor con­struc­tion de­sign could be the cause of the pre­vi­ous de­vel­oper walk­ing away.

“I’ve been watch­ing this place for three years to see what would hap­pen,” Phillips said.

Over the sum­mer, the bank fore­closed on the prop­erty and then that bank went un­der. Florida-based Cen­ter State Bank bought out the failed bank and took own­er­ship of the prop­erty.

“I worked with and know Cen­ter Bank, so it was a good op­por­tu­nity to make this deal,” Phillips said.

He pur­chased the prop­erty for about $1.5 mil­lion in Oc­to­ber and plans to put about the same back into the build­ing.

“It’s been locked up for three years,” Phillips said. “There are mi­nor is­sues, but there are a lot of mi­nor is­sues. It’s like Dumb and Dum­ber were hired to come in here and I think they may ac­tu­ally have done the work. I’m a pro­fes­sional. I know what I’m do­ing and when I get done this will be a state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity.”

Phillips said it will take about eight weeks to get the fa­cil­ity back to “ground zero” and then he can con­cen­trate on the im­prove­ments in­side and out­side.

“We’ll fix it up and get it done right,” he said.

It will fea­ture 52 units with 28 me­mory care units and 24 for as­sisted liv­ing. As­sisted liv­ing units will start around $3,000 a month and will have all-in­clu­sive ser­vices. While he hasn’t set a price on me­mory care, he pledges it will be any­where from $1,500 to $2,000 less than the mar­ket area.

Phillips will re­tire from the Illi­nois State Leg­is­la­ture in Jan­uary be­cause he de­cided not to run for an­other term. He and his wife will be spend­ing more time in Manatee County.

“I live here,” he said. “I’m go­ing to be here. We don’t let a third party run our fa­cil­i­ties. We build them and run them. I’ll be here check­ing on things and I’ll be here eat­ing the food to make sure ev­ery­thing is up to our stan­dards.”

Phillips said it’s full speed ahead on get­ting the fa­cil­ity up to stan­dards and ready to open. He pre­dicts he’ll have it open in four months and plans to start hir­ing in about 30 days.

For hir­ing in­for­ma­tion or to learn more about se­nior care, visit vil­la­sofholly­brook.com.

MARK YOUNG my­oung@braden­ton.com

It’s been three years since any work was done to the as­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­ity project on 14th Street West af­ter the prior de­vel­oper walked away from the project with­out ex­pla­na­tion. Three years later, and it has new life un­der new own­er­ship as work has once again be­gun.

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