WARREN - The city's planning commission approved a zone change Thursday that is expected to pave the way for the building of a 120-unit senior living complex on the city's southeast side.
The project is being brought to Warren by Clover Management Inc., which has similar complexes throughout New York state and Pennsylvania. It is hoping Warren will be the first of five new senior apartment complexes in Ohio.
The apartments are expected to be placed on eight acres on North Road S.E.
"This will provide housing for an underserved market," Steve Sceranka said.
The zone change, if approved by council, would change the building requirements for the area from residential housing to an area in which multi-family housing or apartments for seniors can be built.
Council also recently changed a city ordinance about senior housing zoning. The previous senior housing regulations required people living in the zone to be 62 years old or older. The revamped regulations allow the senior residents to be as young as 55 years old.
The complex will have a large community room, patio, library, hair and beauty salons. Single bedroom apartments will rent for $795 per month and two bedrooms will rent for $905 per month.
"This is for people who want to move away from the responsibility of their homes but remain in communities near their friends," he said. "Although aimed at people 55 years old and older, this is not a nursing home. These are apartments. The complex will have an aspect of independent living. It is designed to create a sense of community."
Warren was chosen to be the first community in Ohio for these apartments because the population in the area is getting older and city government has been cooperative to the corporation's efforts to expand.
"This is a very business-friendly community," Sceranka said. "If everything is approved, we are hoping to begin breaking ground after the first of the year. Construction is expected to take 12 to 16 months, depending on the weather."
According to Sceranka, market research indicates senior housing is needed nationwide.
"The U.S. population is getting older," he said. "There are 10,000 people a day becoming 65 years old. There is a 16-year window as baby boomers become older."
Sceranka said the complex will bring in $80,000 per year in new property taxes to the City of Warren.
Mayor Doug Franklin calls proposal a win for the city.
"This will provide housing for a particular market and it will improve and stabilize our housing stock," Franklin said. "This is definitely a win-win."
City council will have a public hearing about the senior apartment complex at 4 p.m. Oct. 24, before its council meeting.
Councilman Vince Flask, D-5th Ward, is happy to see the zoning board to approve the zone change request.
"It brings some jobs and tax dollars from people who move into the area," Flask said.