Senior housing proposal would bring 120 beds to Kent

Nick Glunt

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Kent could be home to a new senior housing development at state Route 261 and Sunnybrook Road in the wake of senior displacement due to the Silver Oaks Place eviction.

The NRP Group, a Cleveland-based firm, is set to go before the Kent Planning Commission Oct. 18 to present its plan. The proposed location is adjacent to KentRidge at Golden Pond assisted living complex.

The proposed facility, Four Seasons at Golden Pond, would include one three-story apartment building and three single-story buildings. The 10-acre development would allow for 70 units totaling 120 beds.

Mike Wojno, owner of the Uniontown-based company Wojno Development, suggested the idea to The NRP Group. Wojno is a co-developer of KentRidge at Golden Pond; The NRP Group owns Four Seasons at Kent, another retirement community.

If approved, Wojno Development would sell the land to The NRP Group to build Four Seasons at Golden Pond, Wojno said.

About 150 residents of Silver Oaks Place retirement community in Kent were forced to find new senior housing after the owners announced they were negotiating a deal with Alabama-based Capstone Development Corporation. Most of the residents struggled to find new homes in the area.

Smith said this new proposal is a direct result of the Silver Oaks situation. Aaron Pechota, NRP vice president of development, said there was a demand for senior housing before the eviction. However, the eviction exacerbated the demand.

Wojno and Pechota said the sale isn’t final yet, and there is no estimate on how much the plan would cost if approved.

Smith said Four Seasons at Golden Pond would be a tax credit project, which gives tax breaks to the owners of affordable housing aimed at low-income residents. Rent costs would be kept low to fulfill the tax credit project requirements.

“(Tax credit project approval) is a competitive process,” Smith said. “But given what has happened here at Silver Oaks Place … we think it will make this a very attractive application.”

The project must first be approved by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency in order to become a tax credit project. The agency makes decisions based on community need for senior and low-income housing.

“It’s not an immediate fix,” Smith said, “but city council’s direction (was) that we immediately try to explore creative ways to fix the senior housing shortage. We thought this was a real good opportunity for the city.”

Contact Nick Glunt at [email protected].