A massive expansion planned for a large-scale retirement community in Mechanicsville is moving forward with the help of tens of millions of dollars in bond financing from Hanover County.
The Hanover County Board of Supervisors voted 6-0 Wednesday evening to grant Covenant Woods $34 million in bond financing to help fund dozens of new units on the organization’s 86-acre campus.
The item swiftly was approved as part of the board’s consent agenda and had previously been recommended by the county’s Economic Development Authority.
Covenant Woods is a nonprofit that operates a 319-unit facility at 7090 Covenant Woods Drive.
Plans call for the construction of 17 additional assisted living and memory support units and 23 additional nursing units. Officials also plan to convert 10 semi-private nursing units into 20 private nursing units.
Renovations to assisted living and memory support units, nursing units, therapy rooms, common areas and dining rooms are also planned.
Construction could begin on July 19, pending proper permitting and final state approval.
Lancaster, Penn.-based RLPS has been tapped for the project’s architects and interior designers, while Newport News-based W.M. Jordan Co. has been selected as the general contractor.
Covenant Woods officials say the additions would add about 30 full-time jobs to its 285-member workforce – cementing the firm as one of Hanover County’s largest employers and biggest taxpayers.
Debt from the bond will be repaid with revenue generated by Covenant Woods, according to an agreement with the county.
Under state law, Covenant Woods has up to 40 years to repay the $34 million bond.
Hanover County has backed other revenue bonds for Covenant Woods dating back to 1999, when county officials first authorized a $34 million revenue bond to help kick-start construction of its current facility after it moved from Richmond.
The initial project included 54 independent living apartments, 29 independent cottages and the assisted living and nursing building, said Beth Richardson, Covenant Woods director of marketing and development. The remaining balance of the 1999 revenue bond, about $28 million, was refinanced in 2012 and is being paid off by the firm.
In 2012, Covenant Woods received about $65 million in revenue bonds from the county and a $37 million loan for another expansion of the facility, which was completed in 2014.