County commissioners could give their blessing Tuesday night to the Development Authority of Cobb County’s issuance of bonds totaling $48.5 million to construct and equip two senior living developments.
One resolution to be considered would approve the Development Authority’s issuance of $24.5 million in senior living revenue bonds toward Brickmont Assisted Living, a new 131-unit senior facility on the northwest corner of Dallas Highway and Garrison Commons in west Cobb. Plans for the facility call for a two-story, 113,000-square-foot building on property previously owned by the late Herbert Collins.
But expected to oppose the resolution is Commissioner Keli Gambrill, who oversees the district in which the facility would be built.
“I just don’t think we should be in the practice of giving senior living facilities bonds. I know they’re not getting tax abatements from the county — I just don’t think it’s a good idea for us to be approving these types of agreements,” Gambrill said Friday, likening the situation to the $35 million in revenue bonds the Development Authority issued toward a new Kroger grocery store in east Cobb.
Gambrill also cites potential site development issues, such as rock on the property, along with a misconception regarding the developer’s proposal to give 14 of the site’s nearly 24 acres to the county.
“While they are giving 14 acres to the county, that cannot be used as a park or green space as presented to the Development Authority by the Brickmont representatives. That 14 acres is going to be conveyed to the county for stormwater management,” Gambrill said. “There was the misconception out there that it was going to become a park to which the public could use, and that is not the case.”
A similar resolution to be voted on by commissioners would give their approval to the Development Authority to give $24 million in bonds toward a 162-unit rental housing community for seniors at 2236 Old Villa Rica Road, south of Macland Road. The project is known as McEachern Senior Two.
“Their first phase had already been approved, and their second phase would result in adding over 300 units,” said Commissioner Lisa Cupid, the district representative for where the development would be located. She said her concern over the matter is that it would introduce very high-density housing in a low-density, residential area.
“I’m feeling the same level of concern that many residents may feel because of the nature of the development. This will be one of the highest density apartments I have throughout the district, even though I have other areas of the district that are more dense,” Cupid said.
“I’m also sensitive to the need for affordable housing for seniors, and I know the developer has done a great job in Cobb County and could put forward a good looking development. I’m just concerned about the different character this is going to add to the area.”
Cupid said she is still awaiting elevations and other information on the development as she weighs her vote on the resolution.
“Right now, we’re just asking a lot of questions, trying to make sure we’re being responsive to residents so that I can feel that a vote for the bonds would be in the best interests of those here,” she said.
The Cobb Board of Commissioners will consider these and other matters at its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday in the Cobb Government Building.