It would be located on Ozark Care Drive south of Nichols Road and west of Osage Beach Parkway. The facility would be for senior citizens 62 years and older.

The prospects of a new, affordable senior housing complex in Osage Beach Parkway West has received the support of the city of Osage Beach.

The board of aldermen voted 5-1 recently to send a letter of support to the Missouri Housing Development Commission on behalf of Build for Resilience, LLC, which proposes to build Osage Beach Villas, an $8.36 million, 38-unit senior housing facility.

It would be located on Ozark Care Drive south of Nichols Road and west of Osage Beach Parkway. The facility would be for senior citizens 62 years and older. Two-bedroom units would rent for between $500 and $550 a month.

The letter of support does not guarantee approval of the application to the MHDC, nor does it guarantee approval by the Osage Beach Planning and Zoning which will have to consider a rezoning request to add a Planned Unit Development (PUD) designation. The letter only shows that the city agrees with the concept and that it believes there is a need.

Voting against was Alderman Jeff Bethurem who said he didn't think the facility would be compatible with surrounding commercially zoned property.

"When I look at this, I'm not hugely in favor," Bethurem said. "I agree we do need affordable housing for seniors, but I don't like putting a piece of property in the middle of all commercial. With potential expansion around it, I don't think that's a really good fit."

He said that if and when the surrounding, vacant land is developed commercially there could be a disconnect in not only use but also appearance.

"Everything surrounding this will be commercial, so when it builds out they will have this looking at it and I don't know if this is really what we want," he offered.

Bethurem also noted that Osage Beach Villas would be near the now-under-construction Arrowhead Centre on Rt. KK and wondered if they two senior living facilities might compete.

Mayor John Olivarri said in his opinion it would not.

"What I'm seeing here, this isn't the same type of housing at all," he said. "That's more on the exclusive end, and this is more affordable housing, something we need in our community and I don't see it competing at all."

Bethurem also wondered how the new facility might impact the value of adjoining, vacant property -- which includes property currently owned by Lake Regional Health Systems.

Ryan Gattermeir, a local Realtor representing the owner of the property where the Villas would be located, said he doesn't see a problem.

"I don't see how having these folks nearby is going to hurt the property values of the existing property or what could happen in the future," he said. "These homes that would be in close proximity are going to be nothing but positive."

Mayor Olivarri noted that if LRHS officials have a problem with the project they can speak at the P&Z hearing — if the project is approved by the MHDC and comes back to the city for consideration.

Alderman Phillis Marose, who has championed development on Osage Beach Parkway West, spoke in favor of the project, noting there is a desperate need for affordable senior housing in Osage Beach.

"I really like that it's on the West End," she said.

Residents of Osage Beach Villas would be within walking distance of a several retail businesses including a grocery store, a hardware store, a pharmacy, Main Street Landing and other retail businesses. Lake Regional Hospital would be nearby as well.

City Planner Cary Patterson reassured the board the proposed facility is a good thing for the city.

"I wouldn't have allowed this to come to you if I didn't believe this was a good use of the property," he told the board.

The property has been for sale for 19 years, he noted, and only twice have developers shown interest -- both times for residential development.

"I can tell you I have absolutely no second thought to recommend this to the P&Z and ultimately to the board of aldermen. It certainly is a good fit. It's going to need to be something like this for the property to develop," Patterson explained. "Or you can leave it commercial and you might get something you really don't want."

The project

Greg Loeffler and Adam Roberts are the principals in Build for Resilience, LLC. Loeffler has 20 years of experience in commercial real estate, leasing and development. He and Roberts partnered in 2015 and have been awarded 21 new construction housing projects through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Roberts has 12 years of experience in affordable housing development as the senior housing manager at the St. Louis County Office of Community Development. From 2009 to 2016, he oversaw the financing and construction of more than 1,000 affordable housing units.

Loeffler and Roberts produced letters of support from 10 owners of property that adjoins the proposed facility, and a letter of support from State Rep. Rocky Miller.

Osage Beach Villas would be one- and two-bedroom, one-story villas. The developers estimate the project would create 50 construction jobs and three full-time jobs.