Despite the fall in the economy, things are still looking up for the community of Alice as new businesses emerge, creating new jobs.

A recent approval by the Alice City Council will bring a 100-Bed Nursing Home with a 16-Unit Assisted Living Facility, 16-Unit Memory Care Facility together with 23 Garden Homes.

The Garden Homes would not be limited to seniors, said Smith. Anyone could purchase a home in the community.

This is a new senior community to be developed north of the Alice High School and behind Coastal Bend College on a 15 acre tract, approximately 54,000 square feet.

On July 9, the council heard a presentation from Alice native Michael W. Smith, President of The Antlers Corporation, which introduced the project and requested the city's participation in assisting with a Texas Community Development Grant for the infrastructure on the proposed development of the street and utilities for the garden home access from State Highway 44 to Houston Street.

"Alice deserves and needs another nursing home  to care for the elderly," Smith said to the council. "I'm not here to shut down any facility or to put anyone out of business. I just want to add to what's already available."

"I would like to ask for acceptance of extending Houston Street, even if it's in phases. The bank is ready, the land is purchased and the operator is in place," Smith said.

He said using the Texas Community Development Grant for the infrastructure on the proposed development is his goal.

"Without the grant monies, the garden homes won't become a reality. You can not put that infrastructure cost on the homes and make them affordable to the citizens of Alice. Those homes are structured to be between $185,000 to $195,000 for the buildings."

"I think it's a good project," Councilman Michael Esparza said.

Mayor Ike Ornelas asked for the estimated cost of expanding the road and City Engineer Rudy Mora said approximately $1.3 Million for a four-lane road.

Ornelas asked if the road had to be a four-lane road and asked Mora what the price would be if the road was a regular two-lane road. Mora said the city would save about $100,000.

Because the newly elected council needed more information on the project, a decision was made to postpone a decision on the item until an assessment was made on the total cost of roadway and percentage of the grant that could be applied toward roadway expense.

On July 23, the council heard information on the assessment of the total cost of roadway and percentage of grant monies that may be applied. They discussed the city of Alice's participation in the extension of Houston Street from Coyote Trail to Flournoy Road and the assistance with a Texas Community Development Grant for infrastructure as previously presented by Smith. 

Smith said the rough calculation of the project and the $750,000 grant money awarded will leave approximately $100,000 left that can be used toward the road. 

He said the three facilities is in total, a $10 Million dollar project.

"We're not asking for any tax breaks, rebates or anything. Each one of these projects will stand on it's own two feet," Smith said. 

If all of the garden homes are built, Smith said the city is looking at more than $4 Million of tax (revenue). He said the new facility will bring 100 new permanent jobs.

"We appreciate your interest in our fine community," Ornelas said.

The council voted and approved the item as presented at the meeting. 

Smith said the project will break ground in the beginning of 2016.