Potential buyer surfaces for Pioneer Village

JACKSONVILLE — At least one buyer has expressed interest in acquiring the senior living center Pioneer Village for $12 million, along with an additional $500,000 that would go to people who had made deposits on living units.

Pioneer Village Investments LLC, which operates the 99-unit retirement community, filed for Chapter 11 protection in May. The community, which faces Fifth Street, was built in 2005 and has bank debt of about $12 million, primarily with Medford-based PremierWest Bank.

In a filing with the Oregon Bankruptcy Court this week, James Erskine, a vice president and senior commercial lender for PremierWest Bank, said he anticipated receiving a letter of intent from Falk Family Investments this week. Falk Family Investments is based in Canyonville and operates other senior housing facilities.

Chapter 11 is a reorganization proceeding in which the debtor may continue in business or in possession of its property. The debtor's reorganization plan must be accepted by a majority of its creditors. Unless the court rules otherwise, the debtor remains in control of the business and associated assets.

PremierWest and Pioneer Village have submitted competing plans to payoff creditors.

Along with the $12 million, $250,000 would be set aside on closing for people who had made deposits to live in the complex. An additional $250,000 payment would go to those creditors on the fifth anniversary of closing. The purchase offer would be subject to financing and due diligence contingencies as well as acceptance by the regional U.S. bankruptcy trustee.

In the court filing, Erskine also said he had received inquiries from MBK Senior Living, Avamere and Emeritus Senior Living — "all companies with a significant presence in the assisted living/senior housing industry."

PremierWest Bank President Jim Ford described Falk Family Investments, led by Gregory A. Falk, as "sophisticated, independent owners of a number of assisted living facilities."

There have been no other formal letters of interest to date, Ford said. "But we're hoping to generate interest. In bankruptcies, you have investors sitting on the sideline until the outcome is defined. Once there is a defined outcome, we're certain there will be others interested."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or e-mail business@mailtribune.com.

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