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Amarillo’s historical St. Anthony’s hopes to provide affordable housing

The Commons at St. Anthony’s plans to bring 125 affordable housing units to the area
While St. Anthony’s is empty now, a plan to bring new life to the landmark property took the...
While St. Anthony’s is empty now, a plan to bring new life to the landmark property took the next steps earlier Tuesday. (Source: KFDA)
Published: Feb. 5, 2019 at 9:24 PM CST
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AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - While St. Anthony’s is empty now, a plan to bring new life to the landmark property took the next steps earlier Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, Amarillo’s City Council put its support behind the vision of a new purpose at St. Anthony’s by backing an application for an affordable housing tax credit through The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

If approved by the state, The Commons at St. Anthony’s will bring affordable housing to the southwest corner of the property on Amarillo Boulevard and North Polk Street.

“We hadn’t expected this to be our first project but it’s the first one that sort of started,” said Mary Emeny, Chair of St. Anthony’s Legacy and Redevelopment Corporation. “We don’t have any guarantees until July, but everyone so far has been very helpful and very on board and we’re looking forward to it.”

While the plan would be to serve elderly residents, the building will address other needs in the community.

“We’re hoping we can put a day care center on the first floor. Daycare is a real need up in that area as well. Seniors and daycare is a natural fit,” said Emeny.

The Commons at St. Anthony’s would be rent and income controlled housing, which the city says would fit with its initiatives to provide more affordable housing.

“The range is probably in the $28,000 to $32,000 range, based on family size,” said Andrew Freeman, Director of Planning and Development Services for the City of Amarillo. "That’s one person to two person, since they’re projecting efficiencies for one bedroom to two bedroom units. "

The St. Anthony’s Legacy and Redevelopment Corporation doesn’t have a final plan just yet but says architects were on site Tuesday to prepare for the possibility of a transformation.

“It’s helping to save a historic property and see that old St. Anthony’s hospital redeveloped and it’s also adding housing units that haven’t taken place in the North Heights area,” said Freeman. “So this gives another opportunity for a developer to do those affordable units to add to the stock of housing that they may not have seen in the past.”

If The Commons at St. Anthony’s moves forward, construction would kick off in March of 2020 and take about 16 to 18 months to complete.

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