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Council hears proposal for senior living center

November 21, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Poland Village Council had a special guest speaker at Tuesday's meeting. A representative from Miller Valentine Group addressed the meeting with the proposed plans to built a 60-unit senior living center west of the post office on U.S. 224.

"In the past five to 10 years we have focused on senior housing," said Miller Valentine Group senior developer Pete Schwiegeraht. "In your community, we expect a growth rate of 20 percent in seniors over the next five years."

The proposed senior living center would sit on 1.8 acres between the U.S. Post Office and the office building. It would feature 50 to 60 units with one-bedroom units at 700 square feet and two-bedroom units at 900 square feet.

"The facility would be age restrictive at 55 plus," Schwiegeraht said. "The typical client would be retired."

He said the facility would have a full-time manager and maintenance person on site. The facility would also include a fitness center, banquet room and a theater. It would also include wireless Internet throughout.

Village Zoning Inspector Richard Ames said the facility does fit the zoning for the property and it would be up to the planning and zoning committee to look at the plans.

Schwiegeraht told council the project would cost $12 million and there were state tax credits available for building these type of facilities to serve a specific senior population. He said the concept is to give seniors on fixed incomes a chance to move into an apartment like this to continue independent living. He did say they would be built for seniors who are making under $30,000 per year and the apartment rent would be based on that income.

He told council that the average rent would be around $600 a month with some going as low as $300 for seniors on a lower fixed income. He did state this was not a section 8 housing facility.

One of council's concerns was the parking. The plan Schwiegeraht presented called for 70 parking spots. Several council members questioned if that was too few for 60 units. Schwiegeraht said it could be cut down, but 50 units was the minimum needed to make it profitable.

Councilwoman Christine Yash asked if a person over 55 with an adult child would be permitted in the apartments. Schwiegeraht replied his company has never run into that problem.

Schwiegeraht finished his time by saying the state will receive 100 applications to the state for funding and only 20 would get financed. He said his company would not move forward unless it had the full support of the community.

"We want this to be a cooperative effort," he said. "We are not going to do this unless we have your support. We have until February to apply."

He added that the project would continue Pennsylvania Avenue at the post office and new signal and won't cause a traffic problem. If council and the community were behind it, and the application for federal funds through the state were approved, work could start in October 2013 and be finished one year later, ready for renting.

Ames said the next planning meeting is Nov. 27 and they need to look at it.



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