An $ 8.5 million seniors’ residence complex is being proposed in Franklin to help close the housing gap for low-to-moderate-income local seniors.
Wallick Communities Asset Management offers a self-contained, income-capped seniors’ residence dubbed Westview Village at 1058 E. State Road 144 near Westview Drive.
All residents at the facility are expected to be 62 years of age or older and earn between $ 20,000 and $ 60,000 per year, said Joe Hall, vice president of development for Wallick Communities.
The complex would consist of 64 units over three floors, with on-site parking and a grassed common area, according to plans submitted to the city.
Of the 64 units, 12 would have two bedrooms and 52 would have one. Rents would range from around $ 300 to $ 900 per month, depending on income and the size of the apartment, Hall said.
The complex would also include several community rooms, a fitness center, library and computer room, as well as on-site laundry facilities, according to the documents.
There would be no on-site medical care, but a services coordinator would work outside the building for residents who need to be referred to local services, Hall said.
Wallick, based in New Albany, Ohio, owns and operates multi-family properties and senior residences in nine states, including 14 in Indiana. This would be Wallick’s second property in Franklin. The company also owns and operates Franklin Cove Apartments.
The proposal is subject to approval of a tax credit from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). The company is submitting a credit application this month, but won’t know if it will be approved until November, Hall said.
The IHCDA Rental Housing Tax Credit is provided to help businesses build properties such as Westview Village with income capped to serve low to moderate income Hoosiers. The program is funded by federal funds.
If approved, construction would likely begin in 2022, with the building ready for residents in 2023, Hall said.
The Franklin Board of Zoning Appeals last week accepted a special building height exception. The exception was necessary because the building would be slightly taller than the standard allowed for that area in the city’s zoning code.
Neighbors at Camelot Commons, a neighboring subdivision, were concerned the property could cause flooding, given its proximity to the floodplain. But city staff said the building was at a higher elevation than the floodplain. There will also be a drainage pond on the property to capture the water compensated by the new construction, according to the plans.
Erin Slevins, board member of the Bridges Alliance of Johnson County, spoke in favor of the development, citing the housing insecurity of low-income seniors. Bridges Alliance is a local, non-profit organization that fights against systemic barriers for low to moderate income county residents.
In Johnson County, around 30% of residents are considered to have limited income, and 35.6% of those residents are seniors. This data and another statistic showing that about one in three seniors struggle to pay their mortgage or rent is proof that the complex is needed in Franklin, Slevins said.
The location is also ideal, especially for older people who don’t drive, as it’s within walking distance of health and recreation facilities and an Access Johnson County bus stop, she said. .