by Victor Lopez
ODDESSA--In case your wondering if the economy is picking up in the Permian Basin, take a drive down Faudree Road in Odessa.
Along with all new construction going on, a new project is getting under way.
Parks Methodist Retirement Village is set to get a major face lift to the tune of $24 million.
The project was set to get off the ground in 2007 but when the economy took a turn for the worse, it was called off in 2008. Now, all systems are go and once again, it's all due to the local economy.
"Because we feel comfortable that the economic development going on is this area is sustainable, we're going to go forward with expanding The Parks, here in Odessa," Keith Perry, President and CEO of Sears Methodist Retirement System and owner of Parks Methodist, said.
Built in the early 1980's, Parks Methodist is going to see some major changes that will carry them through the next half a century, thanks to a partnership between Austin based Sears Methodist and Prevarian Senior Living in Dallas.
"Their access to capital is going to piggy back with our ideas and dreams and we have formed a partnership to get this project done as quickly as possible. I expect, here, we'll be pulling from 100 miles to this campus, simply because we're going to have services nobody else has," Perry explained.
The expansion will come in three levels of change, first; a brand new, 30 unit assisted living memory care facility. Second; 40 new assisted living apartments and a four story, state of the art, 80 apartment independent living facility. As if that isn't enough, third; a substantial remodeling of the existing health care building.
According to Perry, "We'll be operating 24/7 for the next 50 years in a very robust living community."
The good news just keeps on coming. The project will create 200 construction jobs for a 12 to 13 month period and 100 permanent jobs, once the buildings are complete.
According to Mike George, President of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, "It will probably have about a 30 million dollar economic impact over the next year and a half to two years from the construction jobs alone. Those new jobs will have about a 9 million dollar, annual, economic impact on the City of Odessa."
Those jobs tie in very nicely with what's already going on up and down Faudree Road.
George added, "We anticipate Odessa to continue to grow and be an important player in the State of Texas, as far as growth."
Once complete, Parks Methodist will accommodate 400 full time residents and employ 250 full time employees. Just a reminder of how good life can be, out here, in West Texas.
"You're living in a blessed area, not only in the state but in the nation, right now," Perry said.
Groundbreaking and construction is expected to start in late April to early June. The project should be complete by Summer of 2012. Applications for the 100 full time jobs will go online about 60 days before that.