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Project to turn former Angel Medical into senior housing too expensive, study reports

The feasibility study was presented by Givens Communities to the Franklin Town Council on February 6, 2023.
Courtesy of Franklin Town Council
The feasibility study was presented by Givens Communities to the Franklin Town Council on February 6, 2023.

The possibility of transforming the Old Angel Medical Center in Franklin to affordable senior housing is too costly for the town.

On Monday, council members heard the results of an feasibility study which concluded the rehabilitation project would cost between $50.8 million and $63.5 million.

Franklin Town Manager Amie Owens explained in an email that the price tag is too high for the town.

“There have been no definitive next steps noted. There will need to be additional conversations with HCA/Angel Medical Center,” said Owens in an email.

The study says that fair-market value for the property is between $1.3 million and $1.69 million dollars. HCA Healthcare, which bought Mission Health System in 2019, owns the former hospital.

While the two-thirds of the rehabilitation cost could be covered by tax credit equity, HUD capital advances and federal loans, additional funding would be needed for the rest, according to the report.

Th funding gap is too big for the project to be feasible, Owens said in an email. The amount needed to finish the project would be between $23.3 million to $28.8 million dollars.

Other options for the project listed in the plan include workforce development housing, an emergency shelter, a mental health or a substance recovery space.

Asheville-based nonprofit Givens Estates was part of the consulting team on a feasibility study for the building. The study was paid for with a nearly $268,000 grant from Dogwood Health Trust.

The new Angel Medical Center opened in September 2022. The project cost about $70 million dollars.

Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.