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Bedford leaders excited for assisted-living facility $120 million investment

BEDFORD (WSLS 10) - The owners of the English Meadows Elks Home in Bedford plan to invest $120 million over a 10-year period, to expand the current facility.

Town leaders and local business owners said they're excited for the future.

Helen Walters, the owner of Sister2Sister Custom Catering Cafe in downtown Bedford, has been at the location for three years and said she's in support to have owners invest in the area.

"I'm excited, because the thing is, it brings people into Bedford, because a lot of people who are there are not from Virginia," explained Walters.

She said those who are visiting could come into her shop and grab a bite to eat.

Workers from the English Meadows facility said they're hoping to add medical facilities and a hotel in the future.

"It's been very exciting just in the last year that I've been here to see growth," said Nancy Higgs, the administrator for the English Meadows Elks Home.

180 acres of the land is going to be developed into cottages and independent facilities, like townhouses at the English Meadows Elks Home.

The owners said they plan to invest millions of dollars over the next 10 years, an investment town leaders say is good for the area.

"Certainly it would be an addition to the local economy," said Bedford Town Manager Charles Kolakowski.

Town leaders said the last time they've seen an investment this huge was about 20-30 years ago.

They said by having the new facility in Bedford it could generate more jobs, which could spur more people wanting to live in Bedford county, which means in the long run it should boost Bedford's economy.

"We'll be more than willing to work with them and and talk with them about their plans and we're hopeful it will be a positive development for the town," Kolakowski, said.

Construction on the cottages is expected to start at the beginning of next year.