Pat Meadows walks her dog, Pappy, past Pioneer Village in Jacksonville Friday. Pioneer Village Investments LLC plans to sell and then lease back 11 independent-living cottages at its Jacksonville retirement center. 10-2010 file photo - file photo

Pioneer Village emerges from bankruptcy

JACKSONVILLE — The owners of Pioneer Village retirement center have emerged from bankruptcy with goals similar to those they had before filing for Chapter 11 court protection in May 2010.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Frank H. Alley III has signed off on a Pioneer Village Investments LLC's reorganization plan and Jeff Chamberlain, the group's managing partner, is once again looking to refinance the project.

"The key thing was that we were able to work out a way to pay all of our creditors and nobody was shorted," Chamberlain said.

Medford-based PremierWest and Central Valley Community Bank of Fresno, owed equal shares of the approximately $12 million debt, agreed to forgo the default interest, giving Pioneer Village leeway as it searches for new financing or a new owner between now and Dec. 31, 2012.

"It shouldn't be any problem because our census is climbing and we are in good stable condition," Chamberlain said.

He said about 85 percent of the center's 101 units are occupied.

"I may change my mind later," he said. "But right now we are leaving everything as was and is. The monthly costs have dropped significantly as a result of the plan being approved. Cash flow will always be an issue, but we are in very good shape."

He said potential buyers have contacted him, but no serious discussions have followed.

"Our focus is to make sure the plan is working fine. Our goal is to refinance and we can do that," Chamberlain said.

"We pay all our bills every month and have money left over. We're establishing an ongoing (financial) history which lenders will look at. They see success and make loans based on success. We are stabilized, now we have to get the history behind us and find a new lender."

Farmington Centers of Portland, of which Chamberlain is majority owner, will continue to manage the center on Fifth Street, which was built in 2005.

The banks agreed that if they received a $11.35 million principal payment during 2011, Pioneer Village Investments' debt would be considered paid, according to court documents.

If the Pioneer Village group pays $12 million, plus interest, from 2011 and 2012 by the end of 2012, the deal would be done as well.

"I think the factor we have going for us is that we've had continuous upward trends and that's always a positive for the lender," Chamberlain said. "If we had filed and (the number of residents) dropped off, then it would've been a negative."

Smaller creditors will be paid over a five-year period.

"The residents are happy, the staff is happy," Chamberlain said. "It's nice, having gone through a difficult time, to come out and know we had taken care of things the way we should have."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or email

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