County asked to give $100K to senior housing plan

The Meadville Tribune
By Earl Corp
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A property management company is asking Crawford County commissioners for financial support to build a proposed $10 million senior living center at Conneaut Lake in the next two years.

Kelly Coey, development coordinator for Hermitage-based Hudson Property Management, presented the plan of Evans Square Retirement Living Center at Tuesday’s work session.  She requested the commissioners to show support for Evans Square by lending $100,000 from the Housing Trust Fund to help pay for the project.  The loan would be 30 years with no interest.

Coey said the Housing Trust Fund is money counties have allocated to help pay for affordable housing under Act 137.

If the commissioners vote to support Evans Square, the money would be divided into two $50,000 payments  ̶  the first being due in January 2016.  The second would come a year later  ̶  after the project is completed.

Coey said a market analysis conducted in December 2014 in the southwestern quadrant of the county found 1,400 residents who met the economic and age requirements to move into the center once it’s built.
The proposed structure will be built on a 0.86 acre lot between Line and Fifth streets in Conneaut Lake Borough near the post office.  Coey said the plan calls for Evans Square to have three stories which will hold 40 units  ̶  36 one-bedroom units and four two-bedrooms.

Coey gave an abbreviated timeline for the proposed center.  She said an application would be submitted to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency in February.

According to its website, the PHFA provides capital for decent, safe and affordable homes and apartments for older adults, persons of modest means and those persons with special housing.

If the PHFA approves the application, Coey said Hudson Property Management would close on the property in January 2016.  She said construction of the center will take approximately a year.

Coey was asked if Hudson had any other funding sources.  She told the commissioners that Hudson was also seeking funding from Penn Homes and Tax Credits.  Penn Homes is a PHFA loan program, while Tax Credits is a program which a company can buy the tax credits that are allocated to the builders.

“Some of the tax credits won’t fund the entire project,” Coey said.  “That’s why we’ve got to get county money and Penn Homes.”

Coey told the commissioners that both Conneaut Lake Borough and Sadsbury Township are excited about Evans Square.  She said Crawford Area Transportation Authority has mentioned it could add a stop at Evans Square.

“There is a lot of support for this project,” Coey said.

Coey informed the commissioners that if PHFA turns the project down, it wouldn’t be the end.  Hudson would resubmit the application.

“Sometimes it takes one, two, three rounds for the application process,” Coey said.