Archive for Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Housing units for seniors move forward

November 23, 2004

Two housing areas in Tonganoxie will give choices to senior citizens.

Fall Creek Villas, a newly opened housing addition just across U.S. Highway 24-40 from the water tower, allows seniors to plan and buy their custom-built homes.

And just about a mile to the north in the Stone Creek subdivision, plans are in the works for Cohen-Esrey to build a 24-unit low-income apartment complex for seniors.

Muriel Gabel has already nestled into her new home at Fall Creek

Villas. The former Basehor resident originally decided to move to Tonganoxie because her husband was in the nursing home here. But he has since died, and even so, she's glad to be in Tonganoxie.

"I love the area," Gabel said. "I just love being close to a store -- where we didn't have that in Basehor -- to me it's just real handy."

As her neighbors move into their new homes, she's getting to know them.

While Gabel is moving to Tonganoxie from Basehor, one of Fall Creek Villa's future residents had a shorter move to make.

Peggy Duncan, who lives in Kansas City, Kan., plans to move to Tonganoxie. She's just waiting for Sundance Apartments to open.

Cohen-Esrey Development, a Kansas City, Mo., firm, plans to build a 24-unit low-income housing complex on seven acres in Tonganoxie's Stone Creek housing development.

Ed McHugh, a consultant for Boston Capital, in Boston, was in Tonganoxie recently to evaluate the project for his firm, which may help finance construction of the complex.

"I look at the project, look at the market, evaluate the demographics and evaluate the financing to make certain the project makes sense and that it would be a good investment for Boston Capital," McHugh said.

McHugh described the planned housing project.

"Each unit will be about 850 square feet with two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer hookups and an attached one-car garage with its own driveway," McHugh said.

Fred Bentley, director of rental housing for Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, said he believes the Sundance project will soon be under way.

According to Bentley, rent for a two-bedroom apartment at Sundance would be $470, with an additional utility allowance.

If residents meet specific income guidelines, a portion of the rent could be subsidized.

When Sundance opens, Peggy Duncan, who called The Mirror wanting to learn more about the proposed housing project, hopes to be one of the first to move in.

"My daughter lives in Tonganoxie and I've lived in similar surroundings here in Kansas City," Duncan said. "I have a townhouse but there are steps and I want everything on one level. And I want to be closer to my daughter -- I love going to Tonganoxie, yes I do."

Duncan, who is 67, has had two knee replacements, which is why it's important for her to have a home on one level.

"I've lived here quite a while and I just feel it's time to move on," she said.

Realtor Dan Lynch said there's been a lot of interest in Fall Creek Villas, which will include 105 homes when all phases are built.

"Community response has been good," Lynch said. "About half are from Tonganoxie and about half are from other areas -- Wyandotte County and Shawnee."

People who want to buy homes in Fall Creek seem to be heading toward the high end -- about $155,000 for a home with a basement and two-car garage. And, the lower end, the smaller units that sell for $89,500 are also popular, he said.

"Probably what's been well-received out here is the fact that we don't have to stick to the plan," Lynch said. "People can customize it to be their own home."

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