A long-overdue renovation of the Wesley Retirement Village is to start in December following a financing agreement between its new owner and the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency.
The 85-unit apartment complex is at NW 12 and Harvey, and was the home of Wesley Hospital (later renamed Presbyterian Hospital) between 1911 and 1964.
Wesley Village Retirement Community LP, affiliated with Comprise Community Development Company of Kansas City, Mo., bought the complex in April for $2.45 million.
The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency during its November meeting approved a maximum of $350,000 in 4 percent Affordable Housing Tax Credits and a maximum of $5.75 million in tax-exempt multifamily bonds for the property's acquisition and rehabilitation.
The deal also calls for the use of state and federal historic tax credits for the property, which was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.
“There is no change to the nature of the operation,” said Pete Marrone, an executive with Comprise Community Development Company. “It (the former hospital) was converted in the early 1980s to senior apartments. Those improvements are at the end of their life. The building is on a boiler and chiller system, so there aren't modern systems in place, especially for living conditions.”
The current building systems, Marrone said, do not allow residents to set temperatures in their own apartments.
“The building itself is either heating or cooling,” Marrone said. “Residents don't have any control. When the renovation is done, they will be able to change temperatures as they would in most other apartments.”
Other changes during the nine-month renovation will include installation of new kitchens, bathrooms, fixtures, electrical and plumbing systems. Repairs also will be made to the roof and brick facade as needed, Marrone said.
The exterior upgrade will be less noticeable, but will include restoring the entrance to appear as it did when the building was a hospital, and cleaning of the brick facade.“It will look better than it does now,” Marrone said.
Facility has a local legacy
The former Wesley Hospital consists of two different buildings. The building to the north, the former main complex of the hospital, is home to the Wesley Retirement Village. The south half remained vacant for years until it was redeveloped into 16 for-sale condominiums in 2005. The hospital itself played a significant role in the development of the Health Sciences Center east of downtown. The hospital was renamed Presbyterian Hospital in 1964 and moved to the Health Sciences Center district. Presbyterian Hospital was sold in 1985 for $62 million, and those proceeds were then used to create the Presbyterian Health Foundation and a research park for bioscience startups.