ELYRIA — Tucked away between Third Street and West River Road, a nearly $12 million residential development for seniors is taking shape.
New Sunrise Properties of Elyria, in partnership with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and the city, has started construction on five of 19 planned buildings in The Cottages at Riverview, a 55-and-older residential project on nine acres of land on the west bank of the Black River.
The development is for low- and middle-income seniors who want to live in a community within walking distance of downtown, as well as have on-site amenities like a fitness room, access to social services and more.
Multiple two- and four-unit cottages and a clubhouse are planned, said New Sunrise Executive Director Michael Kearney.
“It’s definitely a big project,” he said. “We’re very excited.”
The first residences might be ready as soon as December or January, with the entire first phase of the project expected to be finished in June, he said. If the senior development proves popular, a second phase of construction may follow in the future, he added.
The one-story cottages come with one-car attached garages, underground utilities and multiple opportunities for socializing with neighbors.
Mindy Wright, director of housing and compliance for New Sunrise, said the clubhouse will include a community room and fitness center. University Hospitals also will provide staff one day a week for an on-site medical clinic, she said.
There will be exercise classes and workshops, social engagements and other events hosted in the clubhouse once it is completed in summer 2019, Wright said.
Walking paths between the residences, a gazebo, open spaces, an “intergenerational playground” and a community garden will round out the project, Wright said. The paths will connect Sommer Way and Third Street for easy access to downtown Elyria.
Sommer Way is a loop road with access from West River Road via Grandstand Lane and an access road from Third Street for emergency services from downtown — something the city insisted on, Kearney said.
Ten of the units will be fully handicapped accessible with features including wheelchair-accessible showers, Kearney and Wright said.
Rent is based on income levels, Wright said. Most units will rent for little more than $320 per month for those on Social Security or with disability benefits. Another five will be rented at market rate, or approximately $900 per month, but remain for those ages 55 and up.
The company believes empty-nesters, those who are downsizing their living accommodations, living off Social Security or want to be closer to family will be interested in the housing being built, Kearney and Wright said.
It could also be adult children saying “Here’s a place for mom and dad,” Kearney said.
The OHFA — which assists with developing and financing low- to moderate-income housing, as well as helping first-time homebuyers, renters and senior citizens with housing — provided $10 million in tax credits to New Sunrise. The city also provided a 50 percent, 10-year tax abatement, Kearney said.
Across Sommer Way from the new construction are a number of three- and four-bedroom, single-family homes that are rent-to-own. Built by New Sunrise starting in 2006, the tenants there are coming up on the end of their 15-year compliance period, at which time they can purchase the homes, Kearney said.
Some residents seem keen to do that, he said.
“You can tell, with the amount of money they’ve put into them, they want to stay in those homes,” Kearney said.
Potential residents who want to file an application to The Cottages at Riverview or who have any additional questions, may call (440) 365-9600, ext. 29.