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Construction on Scottdale senior living apartment gets under way

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Rachel Basinger | For The Independent-Observer
Construction crews work on laying cement blocks as construction is under way on the Homes Build Hope senior living apartments along South Broadway in Scottdale.

Construction on the Homes Build Home senior living apartments project along South Broadway in Scottdale is well under way and should be completed by this fall.

Kristen Zaccaria, executive director for Homes Build Hope, said there was a lot of cleaning up and remediation of some old gas tanks on the property that took some time to take care of, but they received their Act II liability of clearance from the Department of Environmental Protection in November of last year.

“Construction has started and although there have been some hiccups with the weather, all in all we're on schedule for the most part,” she said.

The general contractor on the project is Continental Building Systems out of Harrisburg.

Zaccaria added construction is projected to be completed by August with the hope of renting apartments by the beginning to middle of September.

Back in February 2010, Scottdale's Zoning Hearing Board granted the variance necessary for the senior housing project to proceed in the borough.

Scottdale Housing LP, the owner of the property, asked the board at a Dec. 3, 2009 public hearing to consider granting a variance to construct a multi-family dwelling at 210, 226 and 232 South Broadway, in the C1 commercial zone. Multi-family dwellings are considered a special use in this zone.

In 2010, Scottdale Housing LP representatives said they planned to raze the existing buildings and construct senior housing at 210 and 226.

Architect Scott Moore said the project for senior housing took architectural cues from some of the homes further out on Broadway and the units that would be constructed with NSP funds from the historic Loucks House that sits just behind it. He said one goal is to make that house more visible from Broadway, as well as providing a truck turning lane behind the new units for delivery access to Brilhart Hardware

In October of 2010, Homes Build Hope administrators were hoping to begin with demolition of the buildings there.

There will be 32 units available once the apartments are built. Zaccaria said there are currently 60 people on the waiting list, but they are hoping to get at least 100 to 120 people on that list.

“We haven't begun the process of going through the waiting list to see of all of the applicants qualify or pass our screening criteria, so we are still accepting applications,” she said.

Anyone wishing to get an application can do so by calling Homes Build Hope in Greensburg at 724-838-0752. An application will be sent out to be filled out and mailed back to the office.

The units are for individuals ages 55 or older who fall in the low to moderate income category.

Zaccaria said this is their first venture into senior housing.

“We know most seniors are on a fixed income and younger people have more of an opportunity to increase their income than seniors do,” she said. “We hope to provide those seniors with a nice and safe place to live where they feel comfortable at an affordable rent.”

At some point in the future, the hope is to offer supportive services such as computer courses and blood pressure screenings.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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