August 23, 2014

Medina
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Brunswick senior housing project on track to begin

BRUNSWICK — A 54-unit senior housing facility is on track to break ground this year after getting financing for the $8 million project.

The Medina Metropolitan Housing Authority said they’ve been awarded tax credits to construct the Southwick Manor apartments on the southwest corner of Pearl Road and Southwick Boulevard.

The money awarded has been provided from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency through its Affordable Housing Tax Credit Program.

“For me just hearing the money is awarded is big news,” said the Housing Authority’s Executive Director Skip Sipos.

The authority has been pushing for more affordable senior living options since 2007. It applied three times for senior housing aid in the Brunswick Lake Development area and four times for the project proposal at Southwick Manor.

Sipos made the rounds this winter to build community support for the project — the first senior-specific tax credit supported development in the county.

Brunswick City Council members who sit on the city’s planning and zoning board signaled their support of the project in January after a presentation from Sipos.

“We were really hopeful because of the community support we received,” Sipos said, adding state lawmakers including Larry Obhof, R-Montville Township, and House Speaker Bill Batchelder, R-Medina also spoke out in favor of the tax credits.

The proposed Southwick Manor Apartments would feature 54 units for seniors age 55 and older.

The housing authority will set low rent rates so seniors earning 60 percent or less than Medina County’s median income could afford it, Sipos said.

Only those earning less than 60 percent, or what amounts to $30,600 for a two-person household, would qualify, he said.

The building will include one and two bedroom units along with a community room, business center with computer work stations and a theater room for resident entertainment.

Sipos said getting the tax credit was the final key to making the project a reality. The corner where the apartments will be built is already is zoned for senior housing and is owned by the Brunswick Housing Development Corp., a nonprofit affiliated with the authority.

With the support of Council and the city of Brunswick, Sipos said the project can begin later this year and expects work to be completed in 2015.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or at lgenson@medina-gazette.com.