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DeKalb Leaders Praise New Senior Housing Development

At Monday's groundbreaking for Lane Manor, political, business and government leaders were among those who said the senior living project is a good thing for the community - and the county.

DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, Super District 7 Commissioner Stan Watson, and DeKalb County Community Development Director Chris Morris were among the leaders who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony of Lane Manor, a 54-unit HUD 202 community for older adults. 

Before the ceremony began on the future site of the nearly $6 million project, Watson told Patch that Lane Manor was a "quality development" and it will be ideally positioned in the community.

"I think it's accessible here on Redan Road. They are very close to a lot of amenities," he said, including the , , and CVS and restaurants including and .

After the groundbreaking, Chris Ragon, director of communications for Lane Manor's owner, Retirement Housing Foundation (RHF), addressed some concerns brought up by Patch readers who commented on the first article on the development:

  • On not hiring a local architect. Reason: RHF has worked with companies very familiar with its work and HUD.

"The architect [M Group] does a lot of HUD 202. He has been with us in Texas. Tower Construction built our community in Macon. There's a reason why we use the team we use. We try to do local as we can."

  • On why the project is being built on virgin land instead of existing empty housing or retail. Reason: The HUD grant doesn't pay for the demolishing of an existing structure, even if it's zoned for residential, or the expense involved in relocating people from a structure. And if the property is commercial or industrial, "rezoning takes a lot of time and costs money," Ragon said.

Ragon also explained how the rent is figured for residents: it's by income, not assets. For example, you've got $1,000 a month coming from Social Security, but you've got $400 a month in medical bills, you're left with $600, and only 30 percent of that can be taken for rent, or $180, she said.

Lucas Roberts March 26, 2012 at 10:09 PM
I do not think they understand the idea of sustainable communities or doing what's good for an over developed area is.  When they say they choose a wooded site over demo'ing one of the many abandon shopping centers is comparable to saying I only eat chocolate because that's what I like. I know that salad will help me live longer and be thinner, but eating chocolate is easier and tastes better.  Being a responsible member of a community means you do what is good for that community. Chopping down a whole wooded lot is easier than developing land that is developed, but that would have helped the drowning real estate market and improve the way the area looks.  Saying something isn't done because it takes money is the reason for every bad decision.  Why didn't that contractor use the right building product - Why didn't I buy a more reliable car - Why did that person rob that other person -  Because of money.  Cut down on the number of units, do less landscaping but do the right thing and stop developing in areas that are over developed.  Like I said before, I hope I am wrong.  I wasn't to impresses for there reason for using out of town talent either. Sounds like more eating chocolate to me rather than hiring locals. 

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