Historic School Development Is The Centerpiece for Community Revitalization
CLENDENIN, WV (October 26, 2011)  AU Associates, a Lexington, KY based development firm, announces the completion of its first West Virginia project, Riverview at Clendenin School.  In celebration, AU Associates is hosting a dedication ceremony for the $5 million project on October 26, 2011 at 4 PM at 107 Koontz Avenue in Clendenin, WV. The project includes 18 units of senior housing and an expansion of Cabin Creek Health Care’s Clendenin clinic.

AU was called upon to find a solution to a problem that had plagued Clendenin for years: find a solution for renovating the abandoned school that could serve the community and be economically feasible. In doing so, AU’s innovative approach to re-using Clendenin School resulted in one of the most creative solutions to West Virginia’s dual challenge of providing access to affordable health care and housing for seniors. AU Associates Director of Development Johan Graham puts it this way, “By capitalizing on the multitude of funding programs available, we were able to forge new partnerships with financial sources that had never before worked together. Specifically, we combined Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds, USDA-Rural Development, historic tax credits and medical stimulus funds to make this project work. It has been a challenging but rewarding effort. We appreciate the assistance of Terrell Ellis of Terrell Ellis Associates, and Jack Suttle of 25045 – A New Clendenin, Inc., for helping to make this possible. Our partners at Poca Valley Bank, and The Foss Special Historic Equity Fund filled in the puzzle pieces that were necessary to make this project happen.”

AU’s President and Founder, Holly Wiedemann, concurs. “We are also thrilled to have worked with Cabin Creek Health Care, whose steadfast vision allowed us to accomplish this remarkable feat. We appreciate our West Virginia partners and look forward to doing more here.”

The school was originally donated to the community by the Kanawha County Board of Education.  Redevelopment was funded by a combination of federal and state funds and historic tax credits, including $1.2 million from USDA Rural Development, $2.7 million from the State of West Virginia’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, $400,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and $1 million in state and federal historic tax credits.  Construction financing was provided by Poca Valley Bank.
Riverview at Clendenin School brings much needed affordable housing to the area for independent seniors who want to age gracefully in place. Apartments will boast a complete set of amenities including: secure entry into the building with buzz-in capability; help/call buttons in each bathroom and bedroom; furnished community room; laundry room on-site; built in microwaves; ceiling fans; wiring for cable, telephone, and high speed internet access; and individual climate control.  All units are also equipped with energy saving appliances and other “green” technology.

The expansion of Clendenin’s Cabin Creek Health Care’s clinic into this building will greatly improve access to a variety of health care services in the region. The clinic will be expanding its presence in the community by doubling its size causing employment to increase from 11 to 24 including medical staff of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and a fulltime behavior health consultant and pharmacy staff. It is anticipated that with facility expansion and expanded services the clinic will nearly double the number of people it currently serves.

According to Jack Suttle, President of 25045 A New Clendenin, the local nonprofit group working to revitalize the community, “We are excited as we unite with AU to develop this property as the center piece for Clendenin which will serve the citizens of the area for many years.”

Riverview at Clendenin is the most recent addition to AU’s portfolio of more than $63 million of projects in Kentucky and West Virginia. AU has generated more than 350 units and over 100,000 square feet of commercial space in its 21 years of existence. This development represents AU’s first foray into the medical realm, and adds to its experience of residential, office, education, arts and mixed use project experience. For more information, please visit: www.auassociates.com or contact Johan Graham at johan@auassociates.com or call (859) 233-2009.