AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Boarded doors, broken windows and graffiti is how the empty, 119 year old St. Anthony’s hospital looks today.
Plans to rehabilitate this historic building are slowly coming to life.
“If you live in Amarillo and if you’ve been around for a while you know that this community is in need. In need of a lot. More than that, it’s in need of hope, and this has been on the drawing board for so long that people have begun to give up hope. Well, it’s in motion now Amarillo, and we’re about to put it down,” said Jay Parker, director of media relations for the North Heights Advisory Association.
The 565,000 square feet of space will now be partially used for an affordable senior living center that would be located on the southeast corner of Polk and Amarillo Boulevard.
“St. Anthony’s board actually had the project donated to them a year and a half ago, and so shortly after that they started coming up with solutions, idea, what could they do with that property and affordable housing and senior living was a goal they identified, and they worked with a developer to put that information together,” said Andrew Freeman, director of planning and development for the City of Amarillo.
To make housing affordable, the St. Anthony's board has to apply for a housing tax credit program that, if granted, would cut the cost of development which would offset the price of rent.
“The low income tax credit is vital to people being able to afford the program. The program is going to be called ‘The Commons at St. Anthony’s,’ so it’s going to be a low income, housing tax credit program for elderly’s for seniors,” said Parker.
Based on a points system, with the approval of Amarillo City Council, the board has received more points and is that much closer to construction.
“What lifts this program off the ground is City Council’s approval to make this a low income tax credit program,” said Parker.
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs will determine if St. Anthony’s earns the housing tax credit in July.