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Senior housing complex to open

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Andrew Laker | The Republic
A new 63-unit apartment complex at 13th Street and Michigan Avenue will offer affordable housing to residents 55 years and older. The complex is slated to open by the fall.
Andrew Laker | The Republic A new 63-unit apartment complex at 13th Street and Michigan Avenue will offer affordable housing to residents 55 years and older. The complex is slated to open by the fall.

A new, 63-unit apartment complex near the United Way Center will open by fall, increasing the number of affordable, senior housing options in Bartholomew County.

Developer Pete Schwiegeraht, of the Miller-Valentine Group of Cincinnati, said an analysis of the area showed a need for senior housing, and the location on 13th Street seemed a good fit to provide access to social services and a boost to the neighborhood.

“It’s a rapidly growing demographic, and we will help fill a need in the marketplace,” Schwiegeraht said.

Total development costs are about $10 million, and funding includes tax credits from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and Affordable Housing Program funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis.

Housing Partnerships Inc., which has worked with the developers in the latter planning stages, will assist apartment residents in making sure they know about local support services.

“Overall, Bartholomew County has a strong need for senior housing, especially affordable senior housing “ said Mark Lindenlaub, president of HPI and executive director of Area Agency on Aging for South Central Indiana.

Lindenlaub said seniors especially have difficulty finding homes that are easily accessible and where they can remain productively engaged in the community.

At the 24-unit Sycamore Place apartments on Second Street near downtown Columbus, a waiting list of 223 exists for the units for the elderly and disabled, according to Deborah Holt, Columbus Housing Authority executive director.

Tonja Couch, director of United Way 211 in Bartholomew County, also said housing is among the top needs of callers, although she did not have figures broken down for seniors.

The new, three-story apartment complex at 1500 13th St. will have open floor plans easily accessible to seniors who use walkers or wheelchairs, including some apartments that have specially designed showers that can accommodate wheelchairs.

The facility, for income-eligible seniors ages 55 and older, is an independent-living complex, but support services will be available for added charges, such as housekeeping, transportation and meal delivery. On-site managers and maintenance workers also will be available.

Apartment sizes will be 675 square feet for a one-bedroom unit and 875 square feet for a two-bedroom apartment. Rent will range from $500 to $650 a month.

Each apartment will have a stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, garbage disposal, washer and dryer. The complex will have a business center with computers and Internet access, a fitness center, theater, banquet facility and a limited number of garage spaces will be available for vehicle owners.

Schwiegeraht said special efforts also were made to concentrate on energy-efficient building materials and designs.

“We’re planning an extensive streetscape project and we hope we can make a big impact on the area and be a good neighbor,” Schwiegeraht said.

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