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From ghost town to ‘Quality is coming home,’ this 14th Street West project is back on track

Assisted living facility gets new life and new owner

Three years after a developer of an assisted living facility walked away from the project, a new owner plans to have it open in four months.
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Three years after a developer of an assisted living facility walked away from the project, a new owner plans to have it open in four months.

Three years ago, redevelopment on 14th Street West was stagnant. But an assisted living facility project was being touted as a catalyst to attract more development into the area.

Construction started, but it all went quiet a year later as the developer walked away from the project without explanation. It had become a ghost town and the sparkling gem at 3503 14th St. W. faded into another empty building that was starting to fall apart.

Enter Reggie Phillips, an Illinois State Representative who calls Anna Maria Island his winter home, and happens to be in the assisted living facility business. Phillips has built several facilities in Illinois and has taken over what was once going to be called Comfort Cove Senior Care, but will now be called Villas of Holly Brook, his market brand for multiple facilities abroad.

When Phillips says he builds assisted living facilities, he means he builds them. Phillips was on hand Friday working along side crews who were beginning the painstaking work of fixing all the construction flaws associated with the previous project. Those financial problems in keeping pace with poor construction design could be the cause of the previous developer walking away.

“I’ve been watching this place for three years to see what would happen,” Phillips said.

Over the summer, the bank foreclosed on the property and then that bank went under. Florida-based Center State Bank bought out the failed bank and took ownership of the property.

“I worked with and know Center Bank, so it was a good opportunity to make this deal,” Phillips said.

He purchased the property for about $1.5 million in October and plans to put about the same back into the building.

“It’s been locked up for three years,” Phillips said. “There are minor issues, but there are a lot of minor issues. It’s like Dumb and Dumber were hired to come in here and I think they may actually have done the work. I’m a professional. I know what I’m doing and when I get done this will be a state-of-the-art facility.”

Ghost town revived file photo 1.JPG
For three years after it was expected to open, the Comfort Cove Senior Care facility sat silent and empty on 14th Street in Bradenton, but is under new ownership and is being renovated to open as the Villas of Holly Brook. File photo by Tiffany Tompkins Bradenton Herald

Phillips said it will take about eight weeks to get the facility back to “ground zero” and then he can concentrate on the improvements inside and outside.

“We’ll fix it up and get it done right,” he said.

It will feature 52 units with 28 memory care units and 24 for assisted living. Assisted living units will start around $3,000 a month and will have all-inclusive services. While he hasn’t set a price on memory care, he pledges it will be anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 less than the market area.

Phillips will retire from the Illinois State Legislature in January because he decided not to run for another term. He and his wife will be spending more time in Manatee County.

“I live here,” he said. “I’m going to be here. We don’t let a third party run our facilities. We build them and run them. I’ll be here checking on things and I’ll be here eating the food to make sure everything is up to our standards.”

Phillips said it’s full speed ahead on getting the facility up to standards and ready to open. He predicts he’ll have it open in four months and plans to start hiring in about 30 days.

For hiring information or to learn more about senior care, visit villasofhollybrook.com.

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