National Church Residences has announced that it has become the financial sponsor of First Community Village (FCV), a 30-acre retirement community located at 1800 Riverside Drive and a longtime pillar of the community.

National Church Residences has announced that it has become the financial sponsor of First Community Village (FCV), a 30-acre retirement community located at 1800 Riverside Drive and a longtime pillar of the community.

FCV was established in 1963 by First Community Church. In 2004, FCV began construction on a new, 86-unit independent living facility, The Chelsea, and other units for assisted living and Alzheimer's care.

NCR has acted as FCV's managing agent since June 2009. In spring 2010, FCV filed for bankruptcy, a process that involved negotiating $90-million in secured debt, primarily with four banks, and a construction loan of approximately $58-million.

Jim Balthaser, chairman of the FCV board of directors, attributed the bankruptcy filing to delays in completion of the construction project and costs incurred due to the delays, as well as lower occupancy rates because of the national economic downturn.

In the past several months, FCV has restructured its debt under more favorable terms, thereby restoring its overall financial health, Balthaser said.

"With NCR as the new sponsor organization, our plan is to begin phase two of the campus improvements, which began in 2004, to include the construction of additional manor homes, as well as upgrades to the Healthcare Center and the garden apartments," Balthaser said in a news release. "In addition, our affiliation with NCR enables us to provide an even larger array of services to central Ohio seniors."

One of those services will be home health care provided by InCare, an NCR affiliate company that provides pain and medication management, tube feeding and catheter care, wound care and sterile dressing changes and other services.

"It allows seniors to age in place and keep them in their homes for as long as possible," said NCR spokesman Patrick Higgins.

NCR decided to invest in FCV because of FCV's long history in the community and proximity to NCR's headquarters at 2335 North Bank Drive in Upper Arlington, Higgins said.

"We have very similar missions," he said. "They've been around for 47 years. We've been around for 50. They're literally right down the street from us. We wanted to preserve the campus and preserve the legacy. All around, it was a good match."

FCV's 350 employees will retain their jobs and the retirement community will benefit from NCR's organizational, operational and financial strength, said Donald Gardiner, longtime FCV board member and former board chair.

"Based on NCR's strength, reputation, and national recognition as a leader in the senior housing and services industry, the board made a thoughtful, strategic decision to bring NCR to the table," Gardiner said.

"We're confident that our residents, staff and families are in strong, capable hands, and that NCR will continue to enhance First Community Village's rich history of resident service."

Francille Firebaugh, an FCV resident since April 2008, mayor of the village and president of the FCV resident council, said NCR's involvement will enable FCV to continue to grow.

"From the start of NCR's involvement as the village's managing agent, it's been a very positive feel," Firebaugh said. "NCR's great reputation as a professional, caring manager is extremely encouraging to First Community Village residents.

"NCR is a strong organization. This is a good thing. We're ready for this change."

As part of the restructuring of FCV's debt, liens preventing new construction have been cleared, enabling NCR to proceed with the construction of 32 new manor homes, Higgins said. NCR plans to break ground on the $8-million project upon receipt of permits from the city of Upper Arlington, which NCR officials plan to apply for early next year.