JOHN KNOX VILLAGE TRANSFORMATION TO CONTINUE WITH REVENUE BONDS FROM THE CITY OF POMPANO BEACH
BY MARIE PULEO | POMPANO BEACH NEWS REPORTER
JOHN KNOX VILLAGE EXPANSION: The City of Pompano Beach is issuing tax-exempt revenue bonds in a not-to-exceed amount of $160 million, the proceeds of which will be loaned to John Knox Village of Florida, Inc. to help finance the expansion of the John Knox Village campus, located at 651 SW 6th Street in Pompano Beach. The City Commission gave its approval for the issuance of the bonds last month.
The entire 70-acre campus of the retirement community, home to more than 900 residents, is being updated in phases in order to “change the culture of the campus from sedentary lifestyle to one of engaged growth throughout the life process,” according to a bond issuance request letter submitted to the City by John Knox Village.
Under a long-range master plan developed over the past four years, there will be nine phases of development. Westlake at John Knox Village, a Phase 2 project, is currently underway. It includes a new pavilion that will feature a 400-seat performing arts center, two restaurants with indoor and lakeside dining, a nautically themed bar and a pre- and post-performance gathering space for Village residents, as well as the public for certain programmed events. Located along the soon-to-be reconfigured waterfront at John Knox Village, the pavilion is slated for completion in early 2022.
The Westlake project will also include 146 state-of-the-art, independent living apartments in two new towers adjacent to the pavilion – The Vue (15 stories) and The Terrace (11 stories) – with dining and activity spaces, and a parking garage for residents.
Currently, John Knox Village, which has been operating as a senior living community since 1967, has a mix of garden villas, four apartment buildings and three continuum of care residences for assisted living and skilled nursing.
Some components of the John Knox Village master plan have already been completed. Earlier this year, ribbon cuttings were held for a Welcome and Innovation Center; a Center For Healthy Living; and an Aquatic Complex with a resort-style pool, a four-lane lap pool, two bocce ball courts, two pickleball courts, a jacuzzi, fire pit, Stryker’s Poolside Sports Pub and the Glades Grill.
Future phases of the master plan include updated villas, the John Knox Village Professional Center, and a mixed-use building along Dixie Highway comprised of 48 garden apartments and commercial uses.
According to the master plan narrative, the goal is for the John Knox Village campus to become “one of the most comprehensive, inclusive, active and architecturally attractive retirement communities in South Florida.”
The City of Pompano Beach can serve as a “conduit” for the issuance of revenue bonds, lending its tax-exempt status for a project that either benefits the public or a segment of the population, as in the case of John Knox Village. The conduit financing will not affect the City’s credit, and the responsibility for paying back the bond debt, which will have a 35-year maturity, lies solely with John Knox Village.
The City currently has approximately $104 million in outstanding conduit debt with John Knox Village from financing deals completed in 2014 and 2020, according to the city’s finance director, Andrew Jean-Pierre. In the past, the City has acted as a conduit for the issuance of revenue bonds for other entities as well.