Bond approved for Harborview purchase, renovation

SANDUSKY Another senior housing center is slated to undergo renovations early next year.
May 24, 2010



Another senior housing center is slated to undergo renovations early next year.

On Thursday, the Erie County Commissioners gave their stamp of approval to a $2.25 million bond issue to allow National Church Residences to acquire and rehabilitate Harborview on Franklin Street. It's not a debt backed by the county, but something the county has to approve.

Columbus-based NCR is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing, health care, assisted living and supportive services to modest-income seniors and families throughout the nation and Puerto Rico, according to its Web site.

The new bond issue cannot exceed $2.25 million. It will be used to purchase Harborview and pay off its $2.2 million mortgage. After it is paid off, the organization will refinance the building with tax credits, which will allow them to substantially renovate it.

The senior living center is owned by Harborview Senior Housing Limited Partnership and ownership will switch to NCR sometime this month, said Patrick Higgins, spokesman for NCR.

County Administrator Mike Bixler said the bond issue was approved because the project is one the commissioners support.

"We knew (Harborview) needed a lot of upgrading," he said. "When it comes to low-cost housing for seniors -- the commissioners fully support that."

Earlier this summer NCR acquired Viewpoint, another low-income senior housing high-rise on East Shoreline Drive. Ownership of Viewpoint switched from the Sandusky Bay Kiwanis Senior Citizens to NCR, which took over payments of the Kiwanis' remaining mortgage of $1.2 million. Earlier this year, Sandusky City Commission unanimously approved a 10-year tax abatement of 75 percent on renovation and reconfiguration expenses NCR will incur while renovating the facility. Renovations to Viewpoint began in July and included plans to reconfigure floor plans to allow for larger unit, upgrade carpeting, windows and major appliances and to install new plumbing and electrical wiring.

Higgins said Harborview, a nine-story facility, will get a $1 million makeover.

"We want to preserve it as affordable senior housing," he said. "We are the nation's largest, not-for-profit developer and manager of affordable senior housing."

The non-profit organization's plans include renovating the 30-year-old building's common areas such as the cafeteria, replacing the carpeting and repainting the interior. Higgins said there are no plans to rehabilitate the facility's 100 units.

National Church Residences owns 22,000 units of housing in the United States and Puerto Rico in more than 300 communities. Many were financed through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and are being converted to be funded with tax credits.