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Greensburg housing authority site gets tenants

| Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

South Greengate Commons, the first construction project by the Westmoreland County Housing Authority in about three decades, has its first tenants.

Tenants moved into three apartments last weekend and officials said about 30 units are expected to be filled by the end of November.

Authority Executive Director Mike Washowich said Wednesday that 28 one-bedroom apartments in the 45-unit complex at 164 S. Greengate Road have been leased.

Construction of the three-story building in Hempfield was completed this month, signaling the start of what authority officials said could be a period of growth.

South Greengate Commons was the first of potentially three phases of new construction on the authority's 55-acre property.

“We've had an overwhelming response, and we're excited to take a vacant piece of land that was sitting here for decades and turn it into viable homes for seniors. It's a major accomplishment for this authority,” Washowich said.

Tenants will pay monthly rents ranging between $600 and $650, a figure based on income levels and set by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, according to local officials.

Construction of the apartments cost about $11.5 million, with most of the project paid for through the sale of federal tax credits. About $1.1 million was financed using state grants.

The authority is expected to apply in February for a second round of tax credits to pay for construction of an adjacent apartment building for senior citizens.

Other construction is planned for the property.

Washowich said the authority wants to build a storage building for the agency's weatherization program as well as headquarters for the authority to replace the current office building.

Funding for both projects has yet to be obtained.

Initial proposals included retail or commercial development on the property, but those efforts have been placed on the back burner.

“We have 35 acres of developable ground here,” Washowich said.

The authority opted to develop the site after it attempted to sell the property to private and commercial interests.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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