The largest expansion in First Community Village's history is moving along, and company officials said 85% of the apartments being built have been presold.

On Aug. 20, National Church Residences officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Fairfax, a $37 million, 70-unit apartment complex for independent living.

The project marks the largest expansion at FCV, 1800-02 Riverside Drive, in its 57-year history, according to NCR officials.

The project will yield a 4-story, 143,622-square-foot complex and is expected to be completed by summer 2021.

In addition to being on time and on budget, George Tabit, NCR vice president of senior housing development, said the presale numbers show the need for such housing.

"Our sales and marketing effort is going fantastically well," Tabit said. "We are presold on 85% of the units, which I think is a great example of how much this project is needed."

The expansion project includes the provision of a new access to FCV via a Waltham Road driveway that Todd Hutchins, NCR public-relations director, said is designed to eliminate cut-through traffic to nearby Fifth Avenue.

The project also will replace 30 garden villas called "aging" and "outdated" in a May 2018 staff report by the Upper Arlington Planning Division.

That staff report said the new project would yield "a high-quality independent-living facility" that would serve the needs of current and future seniors and "ensure the long-term sustainability of the First Community Village."

In addition to the 70 apartment units, the Fairfax will include a wellness gym, a juice bar, a spa and other amenities "designed to help residents remain healthy and live independently," Hutchins said.

"While the apartments are designed for dual occupancy, we anticipate having 130 new residents at the Fairfax," he said.

Tabit said the construction site has been cleared, some foundations have been installed and stormwater and other utilities infrastructure is in place.

"We'll be ready to go vertical pretty soon," Tabit said.

He said the replacement of the garden villas would yield a facility "that's more in line with the surrounding neighborhood's architecture" and will "provide better options for Upper Arlington seniors."

Emma Speight, Upper Arlington community-affairs director, credited the mild winter for helping keep the project on schedule.

"First Community Village's senior-housing campus has been in existence for several decades, providing a range of housing choices for older adults -- from independent living in apartments and condominiums to assisted-living and memory-care facilities -- all within a conveniently located, parklike setting," she said. "The new Fairfax project expands the availability of independent-living accommodations, a much-needed housing product that provides Upper Arlington residents an option for being able to stay in their community as they enter their senior years.

"The project continues First Community's commitment to providing high-quality housing options, following on from its previous major redevelopment projects, such as the Chelsea, and the Manor Homes, and represents a significant reinvestment in the Upper Arlington community, at approximately $37 million."

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