With the new Grand Island Regional Medical Center nearing completion, the news from the accompanying Prairie Commons development just gets better and better.

Last week, the Grand Island Community Redevelopment Authority (CRA) approved sending a $5 million tax increment financing request for a new retirement village on to the Regional Planning Commission.

The nonprofit senior housing and care provider Tabitha plans to build the retirement village west of the new hospital, which is south of Husker Highway and west of Highway 281.

Tabitha is working in partnership with Senior Housing Partners, the project development consultant, and Chief Construction, the proposed project general contractor.

The $45 million project plans to have 157 apartments, including 81 independent living, 20 assisted living, 20 memory care and 36 skilled nursing apartments. It would create housing for approximately 200 residents.

This is very good news for the community as Grand Island needs more skilled nursing housing and the development will employ 80 to 100 people, with 66 positions being full time and an average wage of $20 per hour.

The property currently has a value of $80,599. Based on the 2019 levy, this would result in property taxes of $1,800. It is anticipated that the assessed value will increase by $15 million as a result of the redevelopment, which would result in an estimated tax increase of $341,823 annually.

Tabitha said the complex will include indoor parking, a full-service kitchen serving three meals a day, a bistro café, club lounges, rooftop patios, memory gardens, a library, salon, fitness center, wellness center, theater and chapel, community rooms, outdoor yoga, walking trails and other amenities.

There will be a variety of apartment styles including studio, one bedroom, one bedroom with a den and two bedrooms. Many will be outfitted with washers and dryers.

Grand Island should move forward with approving the request for $5 million in tax increment financing so this project can get underway. It’s a considerable investment by the city, but it will result in a huge boost in tax income.

The TIF funds will be used for property purchase; site preparation; utility extensions; building plans and engineering; façade; private streets and recreational trails; and legal work, fees and financial tracking.

Plans are for work on the project to begin in April and be completed in less than 18 months.

With the addition of the new hospital and accompanying medical offices, as well as the new CHI Health Regional Cancer Center on Faidley Avenue, Grand Island is building its reputation as a regional hub for people seeking medical care. The addition of Tabitha’s retirement community shows that Grand Island is a good place for people to live.

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