After months of consideration, the developers of the four-story, 114-unit apartment building on the former site of the Olympic Swim Club have opted to designate it a 55-and-older community.
That means, according to the announcement last week from the Zimmerman Cos., at least one person in 80 percent of the units must be at least 55 when tenants begin moving into the Deco on Indianola Avenue in late April.
"It's something we've been considering for a few months as we were looking closely at the community and understanding some of the needs of Clintonville residents," company President April Zimmerman Katz said. "It occurred to us that we could really serve this niche of the population and serve them well."
"I think there's a real shortage of that type of unit," said Judy Minister, a real-estate agent and member of the Clintonville Area Commission. "The Deco's deciding to go that route was a total surprise to me. I think it really fills a need, and it's an appealing concept."
The 55-plus market in the United States is expected to grow by 800,000 households a year, according to the website of the National Association of Home Builders.
Jane Arthur-Roslovic, managing partner of Treplus Communities, said the Dublin-based development firm has three 55-and-older communities in the works, and she anticipates it becoming a major focus locally.
"We view it to be a huge market," Arthur-Roslovic said. "We're finding that people do want community. They want to be able to age in place."
The housing market in Clintonville is "tight," Zimmerman Katz said in explaining the decision to designate the one- and two-bedroom apartment building for primarily older people.
Clintonville has a lot of people "who have lived there for their entire lives and do not want to leave the neighborhood, but may not want to take care of their houses anymore," she added.
"We do have people who may want to scale down and simplify, but where would they go in the neighborhood?" Minister said. "Clintonville has mostly older housing stock without elevators. This is a really great location where you can walk to so many places and stay in a neighborhood where you may have lived for 30 years and have an elevator.
"I think it's a good match for the neighborhood."
The District 4 CAC representative pointed out that the 80-20 rule for the Deco means some units will have younger residents.
"We probably would have had an organic flow of people into our property of this age, but by designating 55 and over, we felt it would bring a lot of comfort to people considering a move like this," Zimmerman Katz said.
Response to the announcement, she added, has involved "fantastic feedback."
"The construction is coming along nicely," the company president said. "We're expecting to open at the end of April. I think things will look better quickly as soon as the weather starts to turn."
The smallest units in the apartment building will be 609 square feet, with rent ranging from $964 to $984 a month, according to the project's website. The largest are 1,177 square feet, renting for between $1,579 and $1,599 monthly.