The Canal Winchester Times

Developer eyes Groveport site for senior housing

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Developer LW Associates hopes to build 50 new rental units to serve senior citizens in Groveport.

At Groveport City Council's Oct. 15 committee of the whole meeting, company representative Todd Valentine laid out an initial proposal for city council to consider before the firm makes an official development review request.

If the project is funded and approved, LW Associates will develop land east of Hendron Road near state Route 317, he said.

"We have to have our application into the Ohio Housing Finance Agency by Feb. 27, so we want to get a jump on this," Valentine said.

According to Valentine, LW Associates specializes in building affordable, subsidized, senior housing.

The company, based in Asheville, Ohio, is currently building a similar development in Grove City.

The project is dependent upon receiving financing through the OHFA, he said, which offers a competitive funding process backed by federal housing credits.

"This is a very competitive process with about six applications per every one awarded, so if council really wants this for the community, we're going to need you and city staff to get behind us on this," Valentine said. "We should find out if we're awarded by June, which is when we'll finalize the engineering and be able to start construction by the beginning of 2014, at the latest."

The development will include cottage-style units of nearly 1,000 square feet, with attached garages, spread across nine buildings, along with a shelter house, community building and a dog park.

"This development is for people 55 years and older," Valentine said. "Because of the housing credits we're looking for, we'll have to maintain an income range, so a single-family household can't make more than, say, $30,000 a year, but they will have to be able to meet the rent we're proposing."

Rents are projected to be in the range of $515 to $580 a month, which will include water, sewer and trash pickup, he said.

"This will be a very walkable community to serve our residents' needs, including using sidewalks adjacent to the roadways and a less than 5-percent slope," Valentine said. "We're using universal design features as a way of presenting the least number of hurdles for seniors to live on their own here."

Besides the OHFA process, the Groveport Planning and Zoning Commission as well as city council will have to approve components of the development before construction can begin.

Council members had little comment about the plans, other than to thank Valentine for explaining the project.

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