SHEFFIELD – Sheffield’s Downtown District, which has been on life support since the death of businessman Bob Love, gets its condition upgraded today to serious. Park Place, a residential retirement facility and owned by Mr. Love’s estate, is scheduled to be sold to the Sheffield Housing Authority.
A number of business leaders and City officials have been quietly working for months to secure ownership of the property, before an outside business interest could possibly gain control. Park Place is a foundation of Sheffield’s Downtown. According to a source, City leaders feared that an outside entity would not understand the importance of the property to the well being of the district. They did not want to face the monumental disaster to Sheffield that would occur if the facility was to substantially change it’s tenant makeup, or, if proven to be not profitable, closed and abandoned.
The Sheffield Housing Authority plans to keep Park Place as an upscale residential complex. It promised not to turn the apartments into Section 8 housing units. A bond has been secured to finance the purchase, as well as provide funds for renovations. Occupancy has dropped to roughly 50 percent since Park Place founder Bob Love died suddenly in 2010. The Housing Authority’s first job is to reverse that trend. Our source said that once the ownership is stabilized, it should be easier to fill units.