New Hope City Council to consider assisted living facility

The New Hope City Council will host a public hearing Aug. 14 on a proposed tax increment financing district for an assisted living expansion at Good Samaritan Society – Ambassador.
The council first learned about the request at its June 19 meeting.
“My concerns are terms of the tax increment financing district and how much they’re asking for,” said Councilmember Eric Lammle said of the proposal.
Those details are yet to be determined.
“We won’t spend the time to find that out unless council is willing to move forward,” said Community Development Director Jeff Sargent.
Community Asset Development Group, Good Samaritan’s developing consultant, would request the tax increment financing on the organization’s behalf. The developer would construct and own the new building and Good Samaritan would conduct operations in the building. Over time, the organization would make payments to its developer and eventually own the building.
Councilmember Jonathan London struggled to understand why the city would work through a third party.
“They’re smooth operators, right?” he said. “They’re smarter than us. They’re finance guys. They come in to get tax increment financing and then sell it to Good Samaritan Society. Why not just work directly with Good Samaritan? If not, why wouldn’t we do some bond issuance on their behalf and guarantee revenue on the housing to pay for it? These guys, it just seems a little fishy to me.”
Mayor Kathi Hemken noted that Good Samaritan Society, a national organization, uses this developer nationwide.
“They need development capacity and they don’t have that in their organization,” Community Development Specialist Aaron Chirpich told the council. “This is their subcontracted development arm.”
London also wondered if the city needed more assisted living facilities.
“That was a question we asked,” Sargent said. “Is this an over-saturation of the market in this? All of the market analysis that they’ve done is that there’s huge need even with what’s out here and in the surrounding areas. They feel this will be very beneficial to the community and surrounding communities.”
The 31-unit, three-story assisted living expansion would be constructed at 2773 and 2765 Virginia Ave., properties adjacent to the current facility that were recently purchased by the organization.
The addition and current building would be connected for access.
Good Samaritan Society – Ambassador does not currently offer assisted living services.
If approved, the developer could begin construction in September.