Community leaders and future residents of the Village Cooperative gathered Thursday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the community living complex for active adults, 55 or older.

Future residents were each supplied a small shovel to dig into the dirt at the site of the future 44-home complex at the ceremony, which was followed by a celebration at the Eagle Point Park Lodge. Construction is set to begin next week.

“It has been a fun, exciting and agonizing process, but I am very excited to be here to tell you that we will be starting construction,” Shane Wright, project manager of Real Estate Equities Development, said.

The project has been delayed several times since the start. Construction was originally planned to begin last fall.

“This has been a long drawn-out process,” Real Estate Equities President Keith Jans said. “We thank you for your patience.”

Mayor Mark Vulich showed his support for the project along with several city councilmen and the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“From a city standpoint this is a major investment,” Vulich said. “This is a huge economic development for Clinton. It will create jobs and get more people to stay here and support our businesses.”

The project has brought in residents from Missouri, Tennessee and surrounding towns. There has also been interest in the project from multiple locations throughout the Midwest, according to Sales Coordinator Tracey Minnick.

At the lodge, residents gathered for a formal ceremony celebrating the building of their new home. Wright opened the ceremony that featured several speakers such as Vulich, Jans, and residents Sue Raaymakers and Bill and Phyllis Warren. Following the speakers, all the members participated in the blending of soils, each bringing in a bag of dirt from their home to put in a pot that will be placed in their future home. Pastor Paul Homer of Immanuel Lutheran Church closed the ceremony with a blessing for the new home and residents. The $5 million project will be a three-story building housing one, two and two-plus bedroom, single-level homes that range from 879 to 1,475 square feet.

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