Marabella apartments give Amarillo seniors an option

An independent senior living facility sounds like a place for ol’ folks. In a way, it is. But in other ways, it’s not.

If it was called an apartment complex for people 55 and older wanting to downsize now that the nest is empty or not wanting to mow one more summer or fix one more leak, that puts a different spin on things. Maybe you’d like to hang out with people who watched television on the networks instead of Netflix.

Welcome to the Marabella, one of the newest additions to the Amarillo housing market.

Located on Amarillo Boulevard close to Gem Lake Road, the Marabella will consist of 101 apartment units located on three acres. The units will be one and two bedrooms and will be available to residents 55 years and older who earn up to 60 percent of the area’s median income. However, if people earn more money, the apartment complex offers units at market rates.

The Stellar Development Co., which is headquartered in Lubbock, owns the Marabella. Stellar was successful in being awarded tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to develop project.

Marabella will be partially financed by equity provided by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program. Considered by industry experts as the most successful affordable housing program in the nation, the LIHTC program brings together government and private developers to provide high-quality luxury affordable housing to seniors, according to Stellar’s news release.

The Marabella, which will be four-stories tall, had its groundbreaking April 12.

“When you do get older in age, we see there can be a sense of loneliness when living in your own home,” said Crystal Stroud, the director of management operations for Stellar Communities. “We are providing an environment for them to live with people in their same age range, to have that sense of community. I think that’s a great thing about our project.”

Stellar has 13 projects, including The Avalon in Amarillo, and close to 2,000 units in Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, Wichita Falls and Dallas. The Avalon is a 160-unit apartment complex at 7501 Seville Drive. The Avalon was previously known as Dove Park apartments. Stellar owns a similar project to the Marabella in Lubbock called the Providence.

Stroud said the Marabella will have amenities older residents might enjoy.

“So we are going to have walk-in showers instead of the step-over tubs, a feature that will suit some of their needs,” she said. “Additionally, our project is what we call an affordable tax credit project, and we also have some market-rate units.

“A lot of seniors have fixed incomes, and our properties would really allow them to live there at an affordable price.”

Stroud said Stellar will begin pre-leasing the Lubbock property, the Providence, in June and already has a “pretty healthy” waiting list for tenants of all ages, including the age group that probably wouldn’t consider themselves seniors.

Some of the features of the Marabella, which will begin pre-leasing in late August and early September, include interior hallways so every apartment entrance will be inside away from the elements, tighter security as each person will have key fobs to exterior doors, a great-room area for hosting special events, a coffee bar, media room, fitness center, library, storage areas and a landscaped courtyard with outdoor patio areas and a walking path. And the facility will be pet friendly.

Many local organizations, financial institutions and government leaders played a role in developing this project, Stellar stated. Partners in the project include Panhandle Regional Planning Commission’s Area Agency on Aging, Red River Aging & Disability Resource Center, Emmanuel Temple Church of God in Christ, Jane Werner Adult Day Care Center and Madhouse Development Services, Inc.