Local agency director to propose purchasing Silver Oaks for seniors

Lydia Coutré and Nick Glunt

As the eviction deadline at Silver Oaks Place approaches, a Ravenna non-profit organization is offering to purchase the senior living complex.

David Shea, executive director for Community Action Council of Portage County, a private, non-profit agency, contacted Capstone Development Corporation on Friday expressing interest in acquiring Silver Oaks for CAC.

Capstone is in negotiations with the current property owner to purchase the

property, a 55 and older living complex, and develop it into student housing.

Residents were notified in July that they had to leave by Oct. 1.

Many residents had lived there between 25 and 30 years. Of the 200-plus residents who lived there in July, less than 40 remain, many of whom were unable to find new housing.

“While we can appreciate the conversion as a business decision, we are deeply concerned about the impending relocation of its residents and the permanent loss of affordable housing for seniors in our service area,” wrote Shea in his letter to Capstone.

Arlyne Habeeb, director of community outreach services at CAC , said the organization hopes to keep the complex as a senior living community. The letter is the first step in the possible purchase. There have been no negotiations with Capstone as of Wednesday.

Shea is meeting with the CAC Portage County Board of Directors Thursday evening

to further explain his intentions and to gain the approval of board members.

CAC provides aid to low-income residents, the elderly and the disabled. In 2010, more than 30,000 Portage County residents received CAC assistance, according to Shea’s letter.

Habeeb said she and Shea had mentioned purchasing Silver Oaks since


“As you’re moving through things, and you’re working feverishly, you talk about a lot of different things. You’re just talking. ‘Wouldn’t it be good if we could blah, blah, blah,” Habeeb said. “(Shea and I) had these kinds of conversations, but I didn’t know he had actually made a decision.”

Though Habeeb heard the news Friday, she announced it to the residents Tuesday night.

Mary Maske, a 76-year-old Silver Oaks resident, said she thinks the news is “fantastic.”

“I’m absolutely delighted to know that Community Action Council is interested in buying the place,” Maske said. “Being owned by a non-profit means that there’s a commitment to the people who live here to make it as fine a community as possible and to keep rents reasonable.”

But, even if Capstone or the current Silver Oaks property owner begins negotiations with CAC, those residents who already moved may not be able to return.

“Financially, I don’t know if they could afford to move back,” said resident Terri McManus, 62.

“This has been so stressful on everyone,” agreed resident June Buckbee, 76. “It’s like breaking up a family.”

Contact Lydia Coutré at [email protected] and Nick Glunt at [email protected].