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Montage says to expect few changes at Village

Although Montage Living  – the non-profit group that is planning to purchase Bermuda Village – may not be a familiar name, one of its principals has roots in the area.

Ryan Lambert spoke during the monthly Bermuda Run Town Council meeting on May 14 about why the town was important to him.

“I actually grew up in Pfafftown,” Lambert said. “I played baseball at Mocksville Davie and am a local guy with my parents still living in Pfafftown. When a broker first told us about this being for sale, I was interested because I thought back to 30 years ago when Bermuda Run Country Club was the first job for me. The more I talked to Gray (Angell, the current owner) and got to know residents, I felt Montage was a good fit for Bermuda Village, and Bermuda Village was a good fit for Montage.”

That moved a step closer to fruition in the May 14 meeting when the council adopted a resolution at the request of Montage, which applied to the Public Finance Authority to issue revenue bonds to fund the acquisition of Bermuda Village.

The resolution states that the principal amount of revenue bonds is not to exceed $45 million “for the purpose of financing the acquisition of a low-income housing complex for seniors located in the town.”

Lambert said the nonprofit is trying to do what it can to keep costs affordable – not to make it affordable housing, adding that the affordability component is based off of the residents who are leasing at Bermuda Village and has no effect on people who own their villas or condos. He stated that’s less than 20 residents at Bermuda Village who would need to qualify.

The meeting included a public hearing where several residents asked about where the money was coming from, particularly with the “low-income” component – which has also been referred to as “moderate income” – of the project and the impact it could have.

As a non-profit group, Montage was created last year to provide senior housing and affordable senior housing, and has five facilities in South Carolina and Georgia.

BB&T Capital Markets, the securities subsidiary of BB&T Corp., is the underwriter on the financing and provided a list of “frequently asked questions” in the Bermuda Run Town Council’s agenda packet for the meeting regarding the project, including the following:

Will the facility change?

• Some improvements are planned for the facility, including increasing the number of beds that will be available. Additional common space is planned as well.

With the moderate income requirement of the financing, will the residents change?

• No residents will change upon the sale. Additionally, given our experience with seniors, we would not expect the resident mix to change over time. Rents will not be adjusted to accommodate a change in ownership.

Will management of Bermuda Village change hands after the sale?

• The current owner will stay involved in the facility. No staff is expected to change as a result of the sale. However, a new operating company will have oversight of the facility.

What happens to the Bermuda Village residents that currently own their property?

• There will be no change for these or any other residents.

How does the sale of Bermuda Village to a nonprofit affect the current and future makeup of the residents living there?

• We expect no change to the resident population. While there is an affordability requirement, we would expect that requirement to be met “naturally” in the current population as seniors enter the “drawdown” phase of paying for their healthcare needs.

How does the change in ownership affect my property values if I live close to Bermuda Village?

• Given that the facility will be unchanged, other than nominal ownership, we would not expect property values to either increase or decrease.

What is the impact on Bermuda Run Country Club, particularly relative to currently required membership by Village residents?

• There will be no impact to Bermuda Run Country Club and membership requirements will be unchanged.

Is this a true nonprofit or is it a tax shelter with profits to be passed on to owners via salaries or fees?

• Montage, while a new nonprofit, is a true nonprofit. All fees must be at reasonable levels as determined by the IRS and all “profits” must remain within the non-profit organization and be used to fund its mission.