DANVILLE — Senior housing developments continue to boom in the area.
The Danville City Council this month approved the latest plans for Mercy Housing Lakefront to build a 280-unit senior housing complex called Wisdom Crossing at Elizabeth Center at the former Provena United Samaritans Medical Center, Sager campus.
It could be ready for occupancy in 2010.
And now under construction by Lutheran Social Services of Illinois is Deer Creek Manor, 3916 N. Vermilion St., just north of the BP gas station.
It is expected to begin occupancy in fall 2009.
Single-digit temperatures and the cold wind halted construction work last week, but a wood frame is taking shape for the 25-unit complex.
Susan DeMoss, who is property manager at Immanuel Senior Residences in Holiday Hills and will be property manager of the new site as well, said she’s excited for the new building to open.
Immanuel Senior Residences opened in 1999. It has 49 one-bedroom units.
Lutheran Social Services in 2005 received approval from the city’s zoning commission and city council for the new building.
City officials approved rezoning 3 acres, previously owned by James Darby, between 3910 and 3940 N. Vermilion St. from A-2 development reserve to R-4 multifamily residential, with the contingency that if the project falls through, the property will be rezoned back to A-2.
It took time for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to release funding to the religious-based, nonprofit agency.
Lutheran Social Services did its own market research, while HUD confirmed the need, said Lisa Ingalls, associate executive director of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.
Ingalls said the project is funded through HUD and the Federal Home Loan Bank grant program.
Residents at the facility will be 62 or older and meet HUD income requirements, which is an annual income of no more than $18,250 for one person or $20,900 for two people.
“Everybody pays a different rent,” DeMoss said. Payment will be 30 percent of their adjusted income, with adjustments also such as for medicine costs.
“It really makes living affordable,” Ingalls said of the sites.
Ingalls said Deer Creek Manor takes its name from the beautiful little creek there and the abundance of deer jumping around the property.
“It’s the most tranquil setting. It’s like its own little park. It is way back there,” Ingalls said.
All 25 units will be one-bedroom apartments. Residents will have access to a social service coordinator.
It will include a laundry facility, a community room and possible computer room.
“Deer Creek will be smaller. The building itself will have a different look,” Ingalls said comparing the two Danville sites.
Lutheran Social Services oversees 22 sites in the state.
Ingalls said the agency normally starts taking names of interested residents five months out. But if persons want to get on an interest list for when applications are sent out, they may call DeMoss at 446-9770 or the Lutheran Social Services corporate office at (847) 390-1485.
Construction is “still right on time,” Ingalls said.
She said the location is ideal for shopping and other needs.
Need and benefits
Thom Pollock, executive director of Crosspoint Human Services which spearheaded the New Holland apartments project to provide nice, affordable housing downtown, said there are a lot of senior housing choices in Danville.
With Liberty Village, Bowman Estates, the Danville VA Apartments, Wolford Apartments, Valleyview Heights Apartments, Vermilion House and other options including Danville Housing Authority high rises, there are more than 700 independent and assisted living units.
“Arguably we are getting older (and) it’s needed,” Pollock said of the senior housing.
“But when you look at a geographic area, can it sustain all of that housing by proportion?” Pollock asks.
MaryAnn Shanley, director of real estate development with Mercy Housing in Chicago, said additional senior housing is needed here because most are 100 percent full or close to full and with waiting lists.
Shanley said in addition to meeting a senior housing need, the complex will be “a neighborhood stabilization project” in the Rabbittown Neighborhood.
“We plan on being good neighbors,” she said.
Ward 2 Alderman Rick Strebing said he’s talked to residents who can’t wait for the housing to open.
Some nearby residents hope a coffee shop will open in the building, which is a possible partnership.
Another site looked at for possible senior housing is the former American Red Cross building. Mecca Corp. out of Northern Indiana has expressed interest in constructing a 40-unit Victorian-style senior development at the site, 320 N. Franklin St.
Danville Planning and Zoning Manager Chris Milliken said benefits of these housing developments can include more property tax-paying entities and meeting the varying needs of the city’s aging population.
In 2005, of Vermilion County’s 83,919 residents, 17,292 were age 60 and older, or 20.6 percent, according to the East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging, Inc.
Data released this month by the U.S. Census Bureau from an American Community Survey of three-year estimates (2005-2007) shows: 15,627 county residents are age 62 and older. In Danville, there are 6,114 residents age 62 and older.
The census numbers show the county’s population is 81,566 and the city’s population is 32,494.
DANVILLE — Senior housing developments continue to boom in the area.
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