Apartment complex for seniors

High demand for housing and a lengthy waiting list led the owners of a senior apartment complex in Sparks to build another facility.

Wright Street Partners last week began work on a 42-unit, 47,000-square-foot senior apartment center at Fifth Street and Wright Way in Sparks. General Contractor Sunseri Construction of Chico, Calif., is expected to start framing in mid-April, and the $8.2 million complex should be completed at the start of 2010, owner Ann Harrington says.

"We will be leasing up and moving people in January," she says.

Harrington, partner Robert Nielsen and the non-profit Community Services Agency Development Corp. of Reno also own and operate the Sierra Crest Senior Apartments at Prater Way and Pyramid Way. Harrington says that complex has been full since it opened.

"There is a need for more affordable senior housing in Sparks, and for us it made sense to build something close to our existing facility so we can share management between the two," Harrington says.

In order to find suitable space for construction, Wright Way Partners purchased three small parcels of land that held two older homes and a studio apartment. The tenants were paid to relocate, Harrington says, and demolition of the structures began last week.

As with most development projects these days, finding capital was difficult, Harrington says.

"It is a tricky time to be doing that. Affordable housing financing is different, but it is still more difficult now to find a lender who will purchase the tax credits. But we worked with good team and were able to get financing together."

Harrington says the complex will consist of a single three-story building with a community room, library, wellness room and several other common areas.

Construction costs are expected to run around $5 million, with the rest of the funds covering land, construction loan interest, property taxes and insurance, furniture and fixtures.


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