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Arc building buyer says he wanted to help others

Eric Herrholz said he understands about foreclosure.

When the 45-year-old Gulf Breeze businessman was a teenager in Chicago, his father died suddenly, and Herrholz and his mother lost their home.

As a result, Herrholz said he felt compelled to act when he read media reports several months ago that 81 Santa Rosa County families faced losing services for people with intellectual disabilities with the foreclosure of the former Arc of Santa Rosa County building in Milton.

“God has given me a lot,” Herrholz said. “I felt there were 81 people there who were more important than I am.”

Herrholz is in the process of purchasing the building at 6225 Dixie Road, saving the services and programs now under the organization of the Arc of the Emerald Coast.

Herrholz was previously not identified as the buyer. He said he had no problem remaining anonymous but had received multiple inquiries from people asking if he was buying the building.

More:Buyer saves Santa Rosa County Arc program

Real estate professional Randy Paun, who is facilitating the transaction, said processing of legal paperwork has moved the closing date to late May.

Herrholz, who now owns a several businesses and works in real estate, said he’s at a point in his life where he can help others.

“After hearing the story, I pulled in my driveway and I had these beautiful classic cars,” Herrholz said. “I was saying how blessed I am to have these extra vehicles. I didn’t drive them. It was God yelling at me. It was a message from God. Outright, God. Smack, outright.”

Herrholz said he sold the cars, some of which were from the 1950s, to help pay for the building.

“I’m in a place where my kids are grown and my servitude is more toward others than myself,” Herrholz said.

In January, the state foreclosed on the Arc building to collect more than $300,000 owed to the Agency for Health Care Administration, the state agency responsible for Medicaid funding. A 2015 audit of the Arc found it owed the agency Medicaid repayment and penalties.

The Arc of the Emerald Coast stepped in as a stop-gap for Santa Rosa residents in March 2015, but the organization said it couldn’t continue services without the use of the building.

Since December, when news of the Arc’s financial struggles were revealed, families involved with the organization met with state and regional Arc representatives to find a way to save the building and the services there.

Those meetings included Arc of Emerald Coast CEO John Roper and Deborah Linton, CEO of the Arc of Florida, both of whom also had meetings with Santa Rosa County officials with the goal of finding a building to keep the Santa Rosa residents close to home.

Article source: http://www.pnj.com/story/news/local/milton/2017/04/28/arc-building-buyer-says-he-wanted-help-others/101041652/

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