Westerville, OH, June 6, 2017 – New affordable senior housing is coming to Erie, PA. The Woda Group, Inc., is pleased to announce the construction of Willow Commons is on schedule for completion this fall. It will create 45 one- and two-bedroom affordable apartments for seniors age 62 and over, with income levels below 60 percent of area median income.
Willow Commons will be a combination of new construction and the adaptive reuse of The Wesleyville Public School, a classic 1920s building that served the community at various times as a high school, middle school and elementary school. The stately, three-story building is situated on a 2.5-acre parcel in a quiet and convenient residential neighborhood at 2064 Willow Street in Erie. It is within a five-minute drive of a health care center, the YMCA, three shopping areas and several other services, including a post office. It is just ten minutes from downtown Erie.
There will be 29 one-bedroom units and 16 two-bedroom units, with six fully accessible units and one additional unit for hearing/vision impaired residents. Apartment units will have emergency call systems and feature large windows with good views, individual electric heating and cooling and carpeting and tile floors. The entire development is designed and constructed to meet Enterprise Green Community criteria for substantial rehabilitation projects. Units will feature energy-efficient Energy Star appliances and low water flow fixtures.
Property amenities include two elevators, a community room with kitchen, common laundry, a library/craft room and an exercise room. There will be full time onsite property management and maintenance and a service coordinator/visiting nurse to assist residents as needed. The outdoor space will offer a community garden and gazebo seating area.
“Willow Commons is an opportunity to bring back to useful life a long held neighborhood asset. In the process, so many people have expressed fond memories of their young years at the Wesleyville School. Now it will be repurposed for seniors and continue to be a stabilizing force for the community,” said Andrew B. Cohen, Woda’s Senior Vice President and lead developer for Willow Commons.
“In addition to the all-new, modern and comfortable green apartment units, will also be many planned supportive services, such as needs evaluations at move-in and annually thereafter, plus coordination with local existing community programs.” Cohen continued. “The combination of modern apartment units, building amenities and services is designed with seniors’ independence, comfort and security in mind so they can maintain a high quality of living in their homes.”
The $9.5 million development was made possible in part through an allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits and a PennHOMES loan from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. In addition, construction and equity financing was made possible by an investment by PNC Bank and $228,643 in funding was contributed through the Pittsburgh Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP).
“Willow Commons is a an excellent example of close collaboration among local officials and neighbors, as well as the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s programs, the Pittsburgh FHLB and PNC. Everyone recognized the possibilities and worked cooperatively to launch Willow Commons,” Cohen said.
The Woda Group, Inc. and its affiliates are experienced developers, general contractors, and property managers specializing in the design, construction, and management of affordable multi-family apartments, senior communities, and single-family homes. Considered leading experts in the affordable housing industry, the Woda team is known for producing and maintaining high quality affordable housing. Affordable Housing Finance Magazine ranked The Woda Group, Inc. 9th overall among Affordable Housing Developers and 22nd overall among Affordable Housing Owners in its April/May 2017 issue. The Woda Group, Inc. has developed and currently manages over 275 communities and over 10,000 units.
The Woda Group, Inc. has offices in Westerville, Ohio; Annapolis, Maryland; Savannah, Georgia; Shelbyville, Kentucky; Norfolk, Virginia; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Mackinaw City, Michigan. For more information, call (614) 641-2301 or visit www.wodagroup.com.