By Alex Foltz
Muscatine seniors will soon have more places to reside in town.
The Iowa Finance Authority is responsible for awarding over $750,000 to the Oak Park senior living development. In total, the Iowa Finance Authority provided over $7.2 million this year, dispersed between 12 different rental developments.
Pioneer Property Management, Inc., owns the Oak Park senior living development. Back in September 2017, they approached the City Council on this proposed development. Project manager Chris Ales represented the company at this meeting. Ales, on behalf of the company, requested rezoning the land from Single Family Residential to R-L Large Scale Residential Development. The council approved this request, but it was stated that the land would revert back to its original zoning if the project did not happen. The funding received from the Iowa Financing Authority and other sources have allowed the project to receive the go-ahead.
Ales informed the city council at the meeting that this area was in need of senior housing, and his company’s proposal stated “housing for seniors that contains no steps has long been identified as a housing need in Muscatine.”
The property slated for the project sits on ten acres of undeveloped land at Isett and Blaine. It will include 48 senior apartments as well as a community building. The community building will be used for activities and can be reserved by residents. There will be maintenance staff and a site manager to assist residents. The units, according to the proposal put forth by Pioneer Property Management, would be in the form of 16 triplexes. Each unit would have two bedrooms, a private patio, and at least 1,000 square feet.
“You talk to individuals, get to know the leadership and discern this is the area that has a need. We’re all ecstatic that it was chosen and that it scored well and we’re all excited to get the ball rolling,” Joe Marone, the vice president of Pioneer Property Management, said.
The project itself was added to the city’s urban renewal plan. This addition will assist the project by providing TIF assistance of up to $498,000.
TIF, or tax increment financing, is a public financing method. It is used as a subsidy for projects focusing on infrastructure, redevelopment, or other community improvement projects.
Pioneer Property Management will utilize the tax increment financing, as well as 12 Section 8 Project-Based Vouchers received from the Muscatine Housing Authority, for rental subsidies.
Pioneer Property Management estimates that the project will cost approximately $8.1 million. Construction is anticipated for the fall of 2018. However, this project is still in the planning stage, and construction projects are generally dependent upon the weather.
“The ideal timeline is shovels in the ground in the fall and start leases a year later,” Marone said.
Once the project is completed, the projected net rent is around $600 per month. Rent will include water, sewer, and trash, while residents pay for electricity. Natural gas will not be present at these properties. Residents would be limited to those over 55 in age with an annual income of no more than 60% of the area median.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with the City of Muscatine and provide affordable senior housing for those who need it,” Marone stated.
Pioneer Property Management also manages Cottage Grove and the Welch Apartments.