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Locals invest in senior housing

John Seelmeyer

A group of northern Nevada investors late this year will start construction on an 84-unit senior housing project at South Virginia and Thoma streets.

The $9.1 million project is scheduled to begin about Jan.

1, 2005, with completion expected in March 2006.

Virginia Street Partners, the group developing the project, includes the Community Services Agency Development Corp., an arm of the nonprofit that provides services such as Head Start and utility assistance to lowincome families in Washoe County.

The other side of the partnership includes five private-sector investors:

* Robert Nielsen, a longtime developer of affordable-housing projects in northern Nevada.

* Ann Harrington, a Reno-based consultant and investor in affordable housing projects, and her husband, Gregory Griffin.

* John Gezelin, a Reno attorney, and his wife, Tracy.

The development corporation and the private investors earlier teamed on the Plaza at Fourth Street, a mixed retail and residential project at Fourth and Wells, as well as an affordable senior housing project at Prater and Pyramid in Sparks.

“This is something we know about,” Harrington said last week.

“We saw the need for additional senior housing in the community.”

The National Equity Fund Inc., a Chicago-based company that purchases the tax credits available for low-income housing, is a limited partner in the project.

Harrington said the fund provided a significant source of equity.

She said the group decided on the South Virginia Street location after the city government began encouraging development in that transit corridor.

The Thoma Street property, Harrington said, was assembled from seven parcels held by six owners.

The land package also required City Council approval to abandon an alley created in 1903.

About 155 feet of the alley running north from Thoma Street was abandoned, but vehicle and emergency access north to Moran Street will remain open with access through the apartment parking.

Stephen Harriman of Walnut Creek, Calif., is the architect on the project.

Sunseri Construction of Chico, Calif., will be the general contractor.

Both, Harrington said, have extensive experience in similar projects.

One- and two-bedroom apartments in the complex will be rented to households with incomes below 45 percent of the area’s median income.


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