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Ash Branch nearing finish
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Pembroke’s Ash Branch Manor will be taking applications from prospective residents in mid-October and the apartments could be available later this year or early next year, a spokeswoman said last week.

Sojourner Marable Grimmett, who is senior director of external affairs and strategic partnerships, and strategic partnerships, Atlanta region, National Church Residences, said applications will be taken Oct. 13-15 for the $12.5 million, 70-apartment complex which broke ground in October 2019 and when complete will be the city’s tallest structure.

The apartments, which are considered affordable living because they are rented at below market rates, are managed by National Church Residences, a nonprofit organization founded in 1961 by four Presbyterian ministers who “looked out and saw an aging congregation with housing needs and went from there,” Grimmett said, noting the need for more senior housing continues to grow and the apartments are nondenominational.

“We accept all and love all,” she said.

Since its founding, National Church Residences has grown to encompass communities for more than 43,000 seniors in 340 communities across the U.S., including a pair in Savannah, Sister’s Court and Telfair Arms, and others near Atlanta.

Ash Branch Manor sits on the site of the old Bryan County Elementary School, and when complete will include one and two bedroom apartments, a small clinic, activity areas and garden areas, and officials said Pembroke City Councilwoman Tiffany Walraven has been a driving force behind the project, which was announced in Sept. 2019.

It’s drawn a good deal of interest from locals, approximately 40 of whom showed up last week at Mount Moriah Baptist Church for an information session.

“The great thing about this has been there’s not only a lot of support from elected officials, but also the community at large,” Grimmett said. “We’re really excited to be a part of the community.”

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