Jax Co. commission approves ground lease for affordable senior housing

Local News

MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — After several years of abandonment, the endeavor properties in Jackson County are finally being developed.

“In addition to the autism program, we’ve got the old dining room building that may be eventually converted into a museum, the old gymnasium that may be converted into a conference center/emergency needs, special needs shelter,” Jackson County Commissioner Paul Donofro said.

At Tuesday’s County Commission meeting, commissioners approved a lease on five acres of the property to Royal American Management.

Company officials said they want to build 40 affordable senior homes.

“Affordable housing is a problem in Jackson County,” Donofro said. “It’s a problem that we’ve been discussing since as long as I’ve been on the commission.”

Engineers also plan to add housing for the autistic students that will soon be learning on the Endeavor Property.

“The company that we’re working with, ‘First Place’ in Arizona, has pioneered housing primarily for autistic individuals and they found that pairing that with senior development is a great combination,” Melvin Engineering President David Melvin said.

Commissioners have HHRP funds they can only spend on developing housing, so this proposal came at a convenience.

Altogether, this is a $7.1million project. Royal American will need $1.1 million from the county and the rest of the money from the state.

Royal America plans to file its home program application with the state on January 25th.

If the project goes through, the county will make money through ad valorem taxes. Melvin said that would be an estimated $70,000 per year.

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