Construction began last month on the renovation of 1500-06 Elm Street, which in May 2014, will open as Elm Street Senior Housing. It will be the first and only senior housing project in Over-the-Rhine, and serves as the first project that will meet needs of accessibility, affordability and support services for this group.
The 14,545-square-foot project, which is owned and being developed by Over-the-Rhine Community Housing
with Model Group Construction
as the general contractor, will house 14 units of affordable senior housing, plus one live-in building manager. An elevator is being added to the building so seniors can access all three floors. The first floor will also offer a handful of senior services.
“Our mission is to help maintain the diverse community of OTR, and this is a huge step forward,” says Ashleigh Finke, project manager at OTRCH. “There’s now going to be a place for seniors to live in the neighborhood.”
Elm Street Senior Housing will be LEED
silver certified because of its energy efficiency efforts. All of the building’s equipment will be high-efficiency, Finke says.
The total cost of the project is about $4 million, with construction costs close to $3 million. It’s being funded through historic tax credits, low-income housing tax credits and the HUD 202 grant for senior housing.
“One of the most unique things about the project is that it has to remain affordable senior housing for 40 years,” she says. “It’s not something that’s going to come and go. It will remain serving the needs of the seniors in OTR for a long time.”
OTRCH isn’t new to development—it has been around in one form or another since 1978. The nonprofit focuses on property management, property development, community building, and education and advocacy.
The building itself has been around for 150 years—Christian Moerlein Brewery Company purchased the site in 1863, and the building was constructed in 1864 to serve as the brewery’s icehouse. Moerlein owned the property for the next 56 years, until it was sold in 1919 during Prohibition. It also served as a saloon, grocery store, food store, market, lunch restaurant, barber, billiards hall and rental flat.
Elm Street Senior Housing is slated to be complete by May 2014. Units are available for rent, and interested seniors can apply through OTRCH
. Rent is subsidized with HUD 202 money so no tenant will pay more than 30 percent of their income—total rent, including the tenant's portion and the subsidy will be around $470 per month.
By Caitlin Koenig
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