October 23, 2012

New senior housing development opens in Sylvania

Area seniors now have another option for affordable housing with the grand opening of The Residenz at Sylvania, celebrated Oct. 19 by residents and local officials with the developers, Miller-Valentine Group of Cincinnati and Preferred Properties Inc. of Toledo.

The Residenz at Sylvania, located off Central Avenue in Sylvania Township, is a new community of apartment homes designed for residents age 55 and older. The development provides high-quality housing for older adults who have limited or no affordable housing options, said David Liette, president of MV Residential Development.

The Residenz at Sylvania is located on Percentum Road off West Central Avenue in Sylvania Township. Toledo Free Press Photo by Duane Ramsey

“Quality affordable housing for seniors is more important today than ever before,” said Liette, who reported that 10,000 baby boomers reach the age of 55 daily in the United States.

The 51-unit residential development is the first property built in Sylvania Township specifically for residents age 55 and over to utilize Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The project was completed using the federally-funded, state-managed housing tax credit program.

Without the federal tax credit program, the rent would run from $1,500 to $2,000 per month but the units at The Residenz rent from $550 to $700 for residents who qualify, Liette said.

Sylvania and Sylvania Township didn’t have any affordable housing that would qualify for this program, said MV Developer Peter Schwiegeraht.

“We definitely need affordable housing in Sylvania Township. It’s a great project for people in this area,” said Sylvania Township Trustee Kevin Haddad.

The demand is high for affordable senior housing and the location is within walking distance of a drug store, supermarket and home improvement center, Liette said. All but three of the 51 units in the three-story complex are rented, he said.

Two residents of The Residenz spoke at the ceremony about how they came to live there.

Lyn Drake said she had to move out of her condominium due to having multiple sclerosis. Someone called her after seeing a sign about the project at the Giant Eagle store on West Central Avenue in front of the development.

James Fenwick, president of Miller-Valentine Residential Development, said the company had a sign advertising the project at the site, but were not receiving many calls about it. Then they realized the sign was located on the road that was closed due to construction of the project.

When two local retailers, Giant Eagle and Lowe’s Home Improvement Center, heard about the dilemma, they offered to help market the project by putting signs for it on their property near Central Avenue. Fenwick said those good neighbors were responsible for informing many people who became residents.

“I’m so happy I found a new home here. It’s a great community where you have good relationships with your neighbors,” Drake said.

Carole Ganzel said her daughter, who lives in the area, called one day and said, “I think I’ve found a place for you to live.” Ganzel said that it’s a beautiful place to live and she has even seen deer on the property.

“We care about every resident and raising their quality of life,” Liette said at the grand opening.

“If you build it, they don’t necessarily have to come, but they have come here to this project that took a lot of collaboration and teamwork,” Fenwick said.

Miller-Valentine Group partnered with Preferred Properties, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, Ohio Housing Finance Agency, KeyBank and Sylvania Township to plan, finance, construct and now operate this $4.5 million project.

“It takes a lot of good partners to make a project like this happen. These are partnerships we need today,” said State Representative Barbara Sears, who supported the project.

Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing worked with Miller-Valentine and its partners to raise corporate equity to finance the project, reported Doug Klingensmith, vice president of development for the agency. KeyBank was the local lender for construction of the development.

“It’s always inspiring to see the final product of the projects which are tangible results of a tax program that works,” said Sean Thomas, director of planning and development for the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

The agency allocated federal tax credits with federal and state funding for the partnership of federal, state and local governments and private partners on the project.

“The Residenz at Sylvania is the best community I’ve ever been involved in developing,” said Lew Ellis, executive director of Preferred Properties, who is retiring at the end of this year after 20 years of developing housing opportunities for adults with disabilities.

Ellis said Preferred Properties had an “excellent relationship with Miller-Valentine” developing more than 220 units of affordable housing in Northwest Ohio.

Miller-Valentine has been involved in developing, building, owning and operating multi-family real estate for more than 20 years.

The company built Oakwood Homes, a development of 80 4-bedroom single family homes for rent on Monroe Street in Toledo near the Toledo Art Museum.

The company also developed and built the Wauseon Senior Villas on the extension of Glenwood Avenue, one block south of Airport Highway in Wauseon. It has completed residential developments in the Northwest Ohio communities of Brian, Bucyrus, Delphos, Findlay, Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Napoleon, Van Wert, Walbridge, Whitehouse and Wapakoneta.

For more information about The Residenz, call 1-800-329-RENT or visit www.YourNextPLacetoLive.com.

Written by Duane Ramsey | | [email protected]