Senior housing project in Cochranton proposed

COCHRANTON — A Mercer County developer’s proposed $12.3 million apartment project for low-income senior citizens in Cochranton is being backed by Cochranton Borough Council.

Adams Place is a three-story, 39-unit apartment complex being pitched by Hudson Companies of Hermitage. It would be built on a 1.7-acre vacant site on North Franklin Street on the north side of the borough. The vacant land is owned by the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County.

Hudson Companies currently has a similar senior housing project under construction at Conneaut Lake called Evans Square.

The Adams Place site is adjacent to the Cochranton Community Services building that was developed into medical offices, a pharmacy and a credit union office by the Economic Progress Alliance. The apartment site will be subdivided from the larger parcel if the project moves forward.

Borough Council voted 5-0 at its meeting this week to support the plan following a brief presentation by Hudson officials. Councilmen David Staples and Cory Jackson were absent from the meeting.

The 39-unit building would have 37 one-bedroom and two two-bedroom units with four of the apartments fully handicapped accessible. Each apartment would have a kitchen, dining area, living room and bathroom. The one-bedroom units would be 628 square feet and the two-bedroom apartments about 850 square feet.

The construction budget is estimated at $8.5 million with a total cost of $12.3 million including development and site acquisition, according to Kelley Coey, Hudson’s development coordinator.

Hudson plans to apply to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency in October for funding assistance, Coey said.

If the PHFA application is approved, funding wouldn’t be announced until spring 2018 and not released until later in 2018, Coey said. Construction then wouldn’t begin until the spring of 2019 with completion in 2020 at the earliest.

State funding approval generally takes about two years, she said.

“It’s going to be a long process, Coey said.

Rent for the 39 apartments must meet PHFA guidelines for low-income residents, according to Coey.

Of the units, two will be reserved for households whose income is no more than 20 percent of the average median income of the area, which currently is $8,060 for one person and $9,200 for two people. Another 18 units will be 50 percent of the average median income for the area, which currently is $20,150 a year for one person and $23,000 for two people. The other 19 will be for households whose income is no more than 60 percent of the average median income, which currently is $24,180 for one person and $27,600 for two people.

Rent would range from about $215 to $777 per month depending on income, according to Tyler Hudson, a partner in the Hudson firm. Rent would include water, sewer and trash removal, he said.

The building will be designed for maximum energy efficiency, Hudson said, and would be managed by NDC Real Estate Management with staff on hand.

The design will include a community room with kitchen, a fitness center, activity room, shared laundry room, front porch with a fireplace and a wired library/innovations center where residents may taken webinars and classes via the Internet, he said.

A garden kitchen connected to a greenhouse that connects to an outdoor space for resident community gardens will be on the rear of the building, he said.

Collaborations with Thiel and Allegheny colleges are planned for educational programs, and Primary Heath Network would provide health coaches and wellness seminars, Hudson said. Programming also would be done with the Cochranton Senior Center, he said.

Mark Turner, executive director of the Economic Progress Alliance, confirmed Wednesday that Hudson Companies has a two-year option to purchase the proposed site with an option for a third year if necessary.

“We’re excited about it,” Turner said of the proposed housing project. “It continues the use of the site for community purposes.”

Posted from the Meadville Tribune