Planning & Zoning Commission suggests City Council approve zoning certificate for senior housing on West Avenue

City council to address request June 10

by Holly Schoenstein | reporter Published:

Tallmadge -- City Council will be the next city governmental body to vote on a developer's application for a conditional zoning certificate related to plans to build an independent senior living facility on West Avenue.

The city's Planning & Zoning Commission recommended to Council June 6 that it approve Clover Construction's request for the certificate. Council, which will make the final decision on the matter, is expected to address the request during its next meeting at 7 p.m. June 10 at City Hall.

Lon Marino, real estate manager for Clover Construction Management, wasn't available for comment before deadline.

Clover Construction, of Buffalo, N.Y., plans to build an independent senior living facility on 6 acres of undeveloped land at 260 West Ave. Plans call for one apartment building with 119 one- and two-bedroom units.

The conditional zoning certificate would allow the apartment complex to be built on the property, which is zoned for commercial use.

If Council approves the request, the site plan will have to come before the Commission and Council for approval.

Two neighbors of the property on Nottingham Street spoke during a public hearing before the Commission. William Spidle said he was concerned what may become of the complex if Clover Construction were to sell it in the future, particularly if it turns into low-income housing.

"I support the proposal but very concerned about the prospects," he said.

In its recommendation to Council, the Commission included stipulations that the complex remain for seniors age 55 and older and the units rented at market-rate. According to Megan Raber, the city's law director, if the property were to be sold, the stipulations would continue remain.

Julia Lewis was concerned about what Nottingham Street may become if the proposed development comes to fruition. Among her concerns was that increased traffic could put the safety of the street's residents and their pets at risk.

Construction would start this fall and last about eight months if the project is approved, Marino said. Seniors interested in applying for residency would be able to do so after Council approves the project, he said.

The rental rates for the units are to be determined but could range from about $800 to $900 per month, depending on the size and the rental market when they open, Marino said.

The complex would have an on-site community room, exercise room, library, beauty salon and 12 garages for residents.

A maintenance worker and facility manager would be on site during the week. Organized activities, such as bowling leagues and holiday parties, would be offered to residents.

Clover Construction wants to buy the land from the Rocco Family Living Partnership, which owns 30 acres in the immediate area, including the properties on which Rocky's Skating Center at 272 West Ave. and Rocco Plaza to the west of the skating center sit. Tallmadge resident Frank Rocco owns the skating center and the plaza.

The section of land Clover Construction wants to develop is part of a 12-acre parcel behind, or the north of, the roller skating center. In order to buy that section, the lot will need to be subdivided, Marino said.

He declined to say how much the proposed apartment complex would cost to build, saying only it would be a single-digit, multi-million dollar figure. Rocco said he was told it was an $11 million project, as far as the taxes it would generate for the community and school district.

Marino said the developer's typical resident at its other 13 similar properties in New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut is between 70 to 80 years old.

If the apartment complex moves forward, Rocco will close the roller rink and demolish the 25,000-square-foot, rear section of the building where the rink is located to allow better access from the apartment complex to West Avenue.

For now, Rocco said he plans to keep the front section of the skating center with the snack bar and seating area intact and the attached storefront that Our Daily Bread bakery currently occupies with the hope that another business, such as a chain restaurant or small, independent grocier, would occupy it. If he can't get the right type of tenant to move into the front part of the skating center, he said that building might be torn down as well.

Email: hschoenstein@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9428

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