WARREN, Pa. – Warren City Council unanimously approved a sub-grant of $1.5 million in state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds to a developer looking to bring a senior living facility to Warren.
(Graphic submitted to Your Daily Local. A rendering of the proposed “Eagle’s Crest” senior living facility.)
The move took place during a special Council meeting Monday.
Pennsylvania Senior Housing Associates, LP is hoping to bring a senior living facility to empty buildings and lot from 231-237 Pennsylvania Ave W. The proposal includes 40 units to house those 62 and older and will also contain an art studio, a computer lab and some public space on the first floor.
The $1.5 million in RACP is part of the $5.5 million the city was awarded for the years 2018 to 2020 and must be spent on an economic redevelopment project, according to City Manager Nancy Freenock.
“The funds must be spent within five years of award and the grants require 100 percent match,” Freenock said. “The city lacks the cash to match any of the awards, therefore private investment is needed to leverage the awards. This can be accomplished by city sub granting some or all of its awards to third parties.”
PSHA originally planned to fund the project with state tax credits through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency; however, Freenock said, guidelines have changed to the point that that funding stream may no longer viable as the sole source of funding.
Kelley Coey, with Hudson Companies, said that though the project’s application has been denied twice, they’ve “had very good indications from PHFA that this project will work.”
“It’s just a very competitive process,” Coey said. “All of our past projects have taken a minimum of two years to be awarded. This one’s going to take three.”
The $1.5 million in RACP money would be used to demolish the blighted buildings at 235 to 237 Pennsylvania Avenue West, for site preparation, and to construct an entryway for the facility into the north side of the Clark Street parking garage.
Laura Northup, a tax credit consultant working with the developer, said if the application is approved, development could potentially begin in “the first quarter of 2022 for shovel in the ground.”
Coey added construction could take 12-14 months.
“I think this is a fantastic idea,” Councilman John Wortman said. “I hope it’s able to come to fruition. And hopefully, it allows some of our seniors that have some difficulties to continue their residence in the city.”