PANCHO’S FOLLOW-UP: It was almost a year ago that I told y’all the former Pancho’s Mexican Buffet on Texas 31 was outside the city limits, and we’d all just have to live with the eyesore because it hadn’t been determined to be unsafe.
As it turns out, that’s not true. It appears I received some bad information somewhere along the way, and the restaurant building is inside city limits. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that it was on a list of substandard structures the city has been working to address.
Development Services Director Michael Shirley told me this week that the city considers it a dangerous building. Shirley said the property owner is working on asbestos abatement at the building and will demolish it soon.
Q: Is the John Moore whose column appears Fridays in this paper the same John Moore that was a long time DJ for KNUE?
A: Yes! He’s the same guy. Here’s his website if you’d like to check out what he’s been up to: thecountrywriter.com .
MORE ON HICKORY TRAILS: It seems I gave up waiting too early for someone with Missouri-based Four Corners Development to get back with me about the decision to include five market-rate apartments in a new complex it will build in Longview for seniors.
Hickory Trails will consist of 45 units — 40 with income and rent restrictions and five at market rate — off Page Road and Loop 281. The complex will be for people 62 and older. The firm also is redeveloping Heritage Tower at Methvin and Green streets into 36 rent-and-income restricted apartments for people 55 and older.
On Friday, Four Corners representative Leslie Wilde told me in an email that the firm likes to include at least a few market rate units in its developments, but that decision is driven by factors that include “market demand and conditions, physical limitations and architectural layouts.”
“Heritage Tower, which is our historic rehabilitation building downtown, has room for 36 residential units. Since this is an existing structure, we are physically constrained to this amount of space,” Wilde said. “Further, because of the fixed cost associated with obtaining housing tax credit funding, and minimums set by (the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs), 36 units is the fewest a developer could realistically plan in a single project. So in this case, there is simply not any room for market rate units.
“At newly constructed properties, we first determine how many affordable units we are building, then calculate how many market rate units make sense. For example, if a site is well-suited to build a three-story apartment building with 15 units on each floor, and we have determined 40 affordable units are feasible, we would incorporate 5 market rate units into that development.”