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Ribbon cutting held for Valley Senior Village

VALLEY — At a Tuesday morning grand opening and ribbon cutting at Valley Senior Village, Gateway Management Company President Randy Fleece admitted to some early misgivings about the project but now feels great about the way things turned out.

“We’ve been going through some weird times with COVID,” he said. “We didn’t know how this project would go over, but it leased out in just two months.”

Full occupancy means that up to 84 people in the age 55 and older age group are now living at Valley Senior Village, which is located off 40th Street, just past the Ford Mill apartments. Both Valley Senior Village and the Ford Mill apartments are managed by Gateway Management Company, LLC. They are among 160 properties in seven southeastern states managed by Birmingham-based Gateway.

“This is the best facility we’ve ever built,” Fleece said, “I have to tell you that Gateway has built between 75 and 80 apartment complexes, and we haven’t done a better job anywhere than what’s been done here. This is our first opening in 2020. We have 10 to 12 more we have to get to this year.”

Valley Senior Village is designed to fit within the budgets of local seniors. It’s a $6.3 million investment into the local economy producing annual leasing revenue of just under $300,000. It has an annual operating budget of close to $225,000.

Each apartment at Valley Senior Village has a fully furnished kitchen with a stove, microwave oven, refrigerator with an ice maker, dishwasher and washer/dryer connections, It’s a non-smoking community with such amenities as an outdoor fitness activity area, a computer center, an indoor exercise/fitness area, a covered bus stop shelter, a gazebo and a picnic area with grills.

Mayor Leonard Riley said that he agreed with Fleece that things didn’t look too good at the site in the early going but things turned out really well.

“I’ve been out here a lot to see how things were going,” he said. “At one time, it was knee-deep in mud, but it’s really nice now. There’s a group room and a fitness room. It’s the kind of place where I’d like to live. A place like this in Valley is ideal. We have lots of residents who are over 55 who need a nice place to live. Thank you, Mr. Fleece and Gateway Management for locating in our community and providing our seniors something really nice.”

“We appreciate you seeing an opportunity here in Valley to have affordable apartment living for our seniors,” said Commissioner Debra Riley. “We do have a problem with homes being in a declining condition,”

“This apartment complex is absolutely beautiful,” State Representative Debbie Wood said. “I’m in real estate, and I know the problems people with limited means are dealing with. They need places to live where they are comfortable and are proud for their family members to visit.”

Fleece invited attendees at the ribbon-cutting to feel free to wander the halls of Valley Senior Village and to look at its accommodations.