Riverwalk assisted living project would serve up to 88 people

The Rock Hill City Council gave its blessing Monday to up to $27 million in special state financing for an assisted living facility in the Riverwalk development.

Plans call for a two-story, 77,500-square-foot building that would have units for 88 people at 749 Dunkins Ferry Road, east of Riverwalk Apartments, according to city documents. Parking is proposed for 71 vehicles.

The City Council approved a resolution to support the project receiving up to $27 million in lower-interest revenue bonds issued by the S.C. Jobs-Economic Development Authority.

City Attorney Paul Dillingham told council members the for-profit project would qualify for the state revenue bonds because occupancy rates that residents would be charged “meet the test of low-income housing.”

Mayor Doug Echols said the project would be “another step toward providing affordable housing, particularly for those who need assisted living.”

City Council member John Black said that although the revenue bonds allow the developer to get a lower interest rate, “it does not mean subsidized rents.”

The 5.5-acre project, called Rockbridge at Riverwalk, is planned by developer Rockbridge Community One. The site plan, which calls for a single building, was approved in 2014 by the city Planning Commission.

The facility would offer only assisted living care, not other types of arrangements such as independent living or skilled nursing care, Dillingham said.

The developer did not attend Monday’s meeting to address the council. Dillingham said he does not have any information about the schedule of construction, or when the units might be ready for occupancy.

Dillingham said the developer would be responsible for repaying the revenue bonds. However, he said state law requires the city to give its approval for the financing.

City Council member Jim Reno, who said his district includes Riverwalk, said the project is expected to benefit the public “by providing services not otherwise provided locally.”

The council also gave approval to $3.2 million in revenue bonds for the Riverwalk assessment district, for new roads that would allow the development to expand.

Dave Williams, with developer Greens of Rock Hill LLC, said the additional roads would open up “several hundred acres” of new development in Riverwalk.

Williams said assessments paid by existing property owners would not be affected by the new bonds. He said the new bonds would be repaid through assessments on future property owners who buy into the newly developed areas.

Jennifer Becknell: 803-329-4077