Tenants, family and staff of the renovated Catalina Village complex were celebrating Wednesday after the completion of $4.5 million in upgrades financed by revenue bonds issued by a nonprofit corporation that helps community projects.
The midtown assisted-living complex serving senior and low-income residents with disabilities features refurbished one-bedroom and studio apartments, a new industrial kitchen, dining hall and activity center.
Catalina Village, 5324 E. First St., houses more than 100 residents and has a full-time staff of 55.
The complex underwent landscaping, including lawns, trees, flowers, shrubs and decorative rocks. The complex also has three new ramadas for outdoor gatherings.
An elevator tower was installed, and the construction of a new administration building, along with an expanded resurfaced parking lot with upgrades.
The administration building includes a break room for employees that care for residents who are in their late 20s on up to late 80s.
Dave DeRushia, executive director of Catalina Village, said residents are covered under the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s Medicaid program.
A resident’s rent and care is subsidized by the Arizona Long Term Care System, which serves fixed-income seniors and those with disabilities, DeRushia said.
In the activity center, some residents were playing card games and others were preparing to celebrate birthdays, including taking part in karaoke.
“Catalina Village was the first assisted-living tax credit project in the state for low-income housing for disabled,” said Patty Freeman, of Copper Sands Inc., a Phoenix-based company that manages the complex.
The complex was purchased by the Catalina Village Assisted-Living Limited Partnership in 2000 for $4 million, said Terry McNellis, a spokesman for partnership.
The partnership was assisted by the Tucson Industrial Development Authority, which issued revenue bonds for the partnership to purchase the complex. In 2013 and 2017, the authority also issued bonds to finance the improvements and help restructure debt incurred when the facility was purchased.
The authority is authorized to provide lower-cost financing for qualified projects through the issuance of revenue bonds. Other authority loans have helped businesses such as Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market and the nonprofit Arizona Theatre Company, according to the authority.
In a news release, Larry Lucero, acting president of the authority, said the city’s nonprofit corporation “is honored to assist Catalina Village.”
“The dedicated staff, counselors and medical experts offer assistance and help increase independence for their residents, providing an invaluable service to our community.”