A bistro, courtyard, multipurpose rooms and a five-story addition. All are coming soon to the Martin Avenue Apartments.
Naperville Elderly Homes unveiled its plans for a $29 million project to rehab the existing complex and add new units.
“Our goal is to offer very affordable housing to extremely low-income people but preserve their dignity by providing all the amenities they’d have someplace else,” explained Dave Weeks, the president of NEH’s board of directors.
They’re plans over two years in the making, back when NEH realized the increased need for affordable senior housing in Naperville wasn’t being met.
“And we have an over two-year waiting list, we have as long as I’ve been on the board,” said Weeks. “So we did some studies, we talked to the city and the county, and they said they would love to have additional units.”
That support, along with $14 million of low income housing tax credits from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, allowed NEH to make an the renovation happen.
They partnered with architecture firm Worn Jerabek Wiltse to design a five-story addition with 70 new one-bedroom units and rehab all existing units, common areas, and outdoor space.
“Well I’ve been here for six years and I was hoping that something could more be done to the apartments,” said resident Dorothy Catalano. “So I was very happy when they announced that they were going to be doing all the renovations.”
The project won’t increase rent for residents and construction should begin in March of 2019.
“The other big part of this project I think is just making the building reflect the community that’s here already. I think the building, while taken care of very, very well, is aging and it’s showing its age. It was built in the 1970s and while it worked very well at that time it doesn’t reflect the needs of today’s seniors very well. So I think this renovation project and addition is going to position them to serve the seniors here for the next 40 or 50 years,” explained Heidi Wang, architect at WJW Architecture and project manager of the renovation.
Estimated completion for the project is spring/summer of 2020.
The Naperville Elderly Homes board encourages those interested to come to a public meeting on November 14 at 5:30 p.m. where they’ll discuss details of the project’s budget.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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