A longer term, fixed-rate package authorizing as much as $95 million will be part of the overall financial package, with a short-term variable rate package of up to $40 million providing some of the initial funding, which will be repaid on an accelerated time schedule.

"I think this is one of the few reasons why that, as a group, we're in place," said Charles Stevens, Development Authority of Floyd County chairman.

Berry College attorney Danny Price said the retirement community would be predominantly independent living with components of skilled nursing care and memory care.

"The concept is designed to where if you move in as an independent living senior you don't have to move out," Price said.

The project was initially envisioned before the real estate crash of a decade ago, according to Price.

"The idea originated out of suggestions from our alumni association," Price told members of the development authority.

Greenbrier Development has been working with Berry on the project for about eight years and site prep work is actually underway adjacent to Eagle Lake, the former Florida Rock Quarry.

It has reached the point where it has hit and exceeded its pre-sales targets with more than 80 percent of the 170 units sold, Price said.

Lavender Mountain Senior Living, the entity that will actually operate the continuing care community, opted to move forward before the rainy season started and prior to any additional increases in construction costs which have been escalating across the southeast in recent months.

Price said getting the approval from the development authority puts the financing in place so that construction contracts can be signed and finalized. This will facilitate construction and hit the grand opening date of sometime early to mid-2020.

The project will add between 100 and 150 jobs to the community.

"Obviously these are pretty high-skilled jobs, mostly in the health care field,” he said. "Of course there will be some management, some marketing, some accounting — things of that nature. But good quality jobs will be added to the community," Price said.

The resident mix, based on those who have put down deposits, includes 10-20 percent of people who are already tied to the local community with the remainder coming from outside Rome and Floyd County.

"These are folks who are of an income qualified range who are going to add to the economic impact of the area in what we have projected to be of a fairly significant way. Good for the community, good for jobs and good for the economy," Price said.

Brad Reeder, assistant vice president for financial services at Berry, said the short term bond package would be repaid as entrance fees are actually received as people move into the retirement community.

The retirement community will include 26 independent living cottages and 144 apartments.

"I think this is going to be good for Floyd County and Rome,” Stevens, said. "It's interesting to see how Rome is growing as a retirement community. With the medical side of our community that creates an environment that is conducive to aging and aging well."