By Jeff Gallatin
Developers of the Apartments at St. Richard senior apartment project hope to break ground this fall for the 34-unit project on the St. Richard Campus, which recently was approved for funding by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.
“It’s planned as a 12-month project,” Robert Tayek, a spokesman for the Diocese of Cleveland Facilities Services, said Friday. “Right now, they’re doing project preparation and due diligence for the project. They’re hoping to break ground this fall and have it ready for opening in the fall of 2013.”
Earlier this month, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency approved making up to $675,617 available for the project, which is being put together by the Catholic Charities Housing Corp. (CCHC).
CCHC officials said the project is for the construction of a new two-story, 34-unit building with elevator for seniors age 55 and older who meet income guidelines. The building will have 26 one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom units. There will be a community room with kitchen for resident activities, outdoor patio, laundry facilities and resident parking. The fully independent apartment units will have full kitchens with new appliances, a full bath, spacious living and dining area with either one or two bedrooms, large closet space and finished rooms.
Tayek said the CCHC believes the project will follow other similar recent senior housing projects.
“It will be similar to one in Middlefield in Geauga County, which had new construction and was the first of its kind in its area,” he said. “There also has been a successful project in Lorain, which utilized existing buildings.”
Tayek said the St. Richard project follows the same general plan as the others when it comes to the community.
“We looked at all the communities and their demographics and went for areas where there was a need for this type of housing,” he said.
Tayek lauded city of North Olmsted officials like Mayor Kevin Kennedy and planning and development Director Kim Wenger, noting their support and help in moving the project forward.
Kennedy said he’s pleased to have the development coming into the city.
“This project brings a much-needed affordable senior housing option to the community,” Kennedy said. “Catholic Charities has an excellent record of developing high-quality senior housing developments such as Emerald Village, which is also located in North Olmsted.”
Paul Barker, chairman of City Council’s finance committee, said with more people in North Olmsted and nearby areas growing older, having additional senior housing gives Westshore residents more options.
“It will give them a better opportunity to stay near the areas they’ve in lived in for a number of years,” he said.
Wenger said placing the apartments in the St. Richard area is a good move.
“The city’s master plan envisioned this area of the community as ideal for senior housing,” she said. “It is a location near retail, near community services and near public transportation. This project will also bring an affordable choice for seniors to the community. I know there will be great interest amongst North Olmsted residents in watching this project unfold.”