Villas of Springville Manor to offer affordable living for seniors PDF Print E-mail
Written by Janna Ross   
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 06:46

When making big plans most people end up having Plan A and then decide to have a back up plan, Plan B. Officials with the City of Charlestown have done just that with the latest development, Villas of Springville Manor.

The ground breaking ceremony for the senior living community was held on Thursday, July 6. The ground breaking was a celebration of many years of planning and re-organization.

“In 2014, when we first looked at redeveloping Pleasant Ridge, we knew we  had to provide housing to those who were affected by the redevelopment project. Seniors have always weighed heavy on my heart about this project. Most of the seniors live in housing that is paid and on a limited income,” Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall stated. “The original project in 2014/15 we were looking at Cherry Grove Senior Complex. That was senior rental housing but it did not go through.”

After the initial plan did not succeed, another plan was developed in 2016.

“We started from scratch in 2016. The resolution passed in January 2016 that Pleasant Ridge needed redevelopment. In the resolution the criteria for redevelopment gave special attention to seniors,” Hall continued. “We set out trying to figure out how to do that. To build a new home that was affordable.”

Mayor Hall began to meet with seniors and many had the same ideas about a new home. They wanted two bedrooms, not one bedroom homes.

“When I began meeting with seniors. I seen they wanted two bedrooms and that was going to be problematic due to it being subsidized housing. Then, the second thing a lot wanted to be able to pass on some type of estate onto their children and grandchildren. That’s how we came up with the concept of pocket homes,” Hall added.

The homes in the Villas of Springville Manor will be two bedroom, one bath, 816 square feet homes with a two car garage. Another option will be a $3,000 upgrade that will be a three bedroom, 970 square feet home with a one car garage.

After the designs were decided the next step to make the project a reality was getting a Request for Proposals to developers for who could provide the affordable housing to the seniors in Pleasant Ridge.

“We had six developers interested in the project in the beginning and only one submitted a proposal, Springville Manor, LLC group,” stated Hall.

Once the project started to take shape the developer committed to a minimum 800 square feet home to sell for $75,000 or less. Then plans had to be made for options to make this step of the plan a reality.

Plans continued to come together as the project, a Private/Public Partnership, started to take shape and continue to make progress. Foundations at The Villas of Springville Manor were started on July 13 with framing of the new homes expected in a couple weeks.

The Villas of Springville Manor will include 32 homes, 16 of those built in Phase 1. The second phase of the development will include single family homes. In total the project will include 88 to 94 homes depending on the final layout.

“This is a project that is going to last a few years. A lot of hype and unnecessary stress has happened.  A lot of seniors have been told stuff that’s just not true,” Hall added. “This has been a process. We have met with the seniors as we went along and we are treating them right.”

Hall went on to explain the advantages of the pocket homes.

“First, they are a brand new home. They are energy efficient. A lot of the seniors in Pleasant Ridge are paying $200 to $400 in electric and $100 more. They are paying $300 to $400 a month, just in utilities. These homes are all electric. The bills will run $80 to $100. They will be saving money. Then they will know their neighbors. All neighbors here will be home owners. There are no rental properties and because of the construction this will feel like a gated community,” Hall explained about the advantages of the pocket homes. “Then, the security, it will be well lit and the garages will add to the safety. Another advantage is there will be a homeowners association with maintenance. So the grass will be cut, sidewalks shoveled when snow comes and the vinyl houses will be washed at least once a year. This will all be provided by the homeowners association. When we have met with the seniors what they pay today compared to what they will pay including the homeowners association they have realized savings.”

When the seniors move to the new home they will be moving from their home to a new home valued at more than $85,000.

Hall explained how the debt will be calculated for the new homes.

“There will be two notes against the property. All debt against that $20,000  is a forgivable note on condition that the owner lives there for three years. Then they do not pay it back. The two exceptions is that there is a medical condition that forces them to move into an assisted living or death. The second is a $35,000 note at two percent simple interest. Simple interest works differently than compound interest,” Hall explained. “Once they have had the home for one year, they owe the $35,000 plus $700 in interest. But, they do not have to pay the $700 in interest. The second year they still owe the $35,00 and an additional $700 in interest, again, they don’t have to pay. They will have no monthly payment.”

He continued, “They will have a combined lien of $55,000 against a $85,000 house. Then the $20,000 forgivable note the city is putting up. With this type of mortgage, they own these properties. Once they buy, it’s theirs. Just like the homes they have now. They will still be able to leave something to their children and grandchildren.”

Hall went on to explain the Private-Public Partnership. The Villas of Springville Manor is Hall’s first Private-Public Partnership as mayor.

According to Hall, there are several advantages for the city of Charlestown with the partnership.

“We can meet public need without being totally financed by public dollars. It can leverage money the city puts in and we can get a lot more for the money than doing it on our own. Many cities do Public-Private Partnerships. It is used as a tool by legislators to keep costs down and have a better product. From the beginning we knew it would have to be a Public-Private Partnership. With this project we were counseled by the development attorneys to look at the Public-Private partnership. We could not have met this need without a Public-Private Partnership. If the city was not involved in this project, the market house of these homes would be $100,000. The Public-Private Partnership is designed to meet public need,” Hall explained.

According to Hall the city has made some commitments to the project. The proposal had the city committing $20,000 on each house. Then $35,000 on a simple free interest loan.

“The city has put in infrastructure for the project as part of the Public-Private Partnership. The infrastructure of roads, sidewalks, fencing and amenities. Then the developer building the house and selling at a deep discounted rate. If the city wasn’t involved then the houses couldn’t be sold at that cost. The city’s participation is what allowed the cost to be kept down,” Hall explained.

Hall concluded, “”There’s a lot of opinions on what the city is and isn’t dong. Please don’t pay attention to all that is being said. Please pay attention to know what the city is doing and you’ll be happy. We are striving to continue to make the city the best place to live and raise a family.”

For the The Villas of Springville Manor project Charlestown has contracted with ReMax- Susan Riley to meet with the seniors and go over the options available to qualified seniors and to go over the necessary paperwork.

If you are interested in more information regarding the Villas of Springville Manor please call Charlestown City Hall at 812-256-3422 or contact Susan Riley at 812-989-1063.