Plans are moving forward for a low income senior retirement complex in a southeast Lexington neighborhood. The project appears to be meeting resident approval.
The seven acres of property along Trent Boulevard has been a topic of discussion for some time. At one time, the seven buildings on the property served as a home for mentally-challenged youth. Lexington Council member George Meyers says it was also used as a music center and medical clinic. The property was vacant for years until the Bluegrass Area Development District considered using the land to house former felons. The ADD eventually dropped its plans and sold the property to an Ohio non-profit. Meyers says the idea sits well with nearby residents. “What this project does is allow this property to be developed and built out in a way that the neighborhood around it is really excited about it and that’s senior housing. But, it’s done in a way that’s permanent and sustainable,” said Meyers. Lexington city leaders were briefed on the nearly nine million dollar project last week. Episcopal Retirement Homes of Cincinnati is joining with the private firm Model Group on the housing development. Steve Smith is C-E-O with Model Group, “What we were able to do with our partner Episcopal Retirement Homes is put together a financing package to completely renovate all of these vacant buildings into 54 extremely well appointed senior apartments and just completely change the game for that neighborhood." Rent will be based on 60 percent of an area’s median income. That comes to about 575 dollars a month. Jay Kittenbrink of Episcopal Retirement Homes says this is the organization's first project in Kentucky. Steve Smith says construction should start this fall with leasing in mid 2015.