Welcome Nursing Home senior housing project on South Main may be back on after 10 years

By Scott Mahoney - smahoney@civitasmedia.com

A senior housing project shelved nearly 10 years ago may finally become a reality.

The Community Builders, a nonprofit real estate development firm, is considering resurrecting a low-to-moderate-income senior housing project at 475 South Main St. on the southeastern corner of South Main and Hamilton.

“There was a senior housing development approved on that property quite a few years ago,” Oberlin planning director Carrie Handy said. “They rezoned it to a planned development district. Welcome Nursing home was the entity that was going to do the project, and they’re the ones that own that corner. The project never went through, because right about then is when the real estate market and economy got really bad.”

In 2007, Welcome Nursing Home requested the zoning of the property be changed from single family residential, or R1A, to a planned development district.

The city’s planning commission approved the change on Dec. 19, 2007, after Welcome Nursing Home submitted a site plan, according to Handy.

Shortly thereafter, the economy and housing market took a tumble and began the Great Recession, and the project was shelved.

The Community Builders have applied to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency in hopes the project will receive a low-income housing tax credit, according to Handy.

“The tax credit, right now, is the biggest piece,” she said. “The biggest chunk of the project finance would come from that.”

The city doesn’t have much information on how the project has changed since 2007.

“They haven’t gotten that far, as far as applying to planning commission to get the site plan approved,” Handy said. “They probably won’t do that until they find out about the tax credits, which will probably be sometime in July.”

If the project is approved for the tax credits, Handy expects The Community Builders will then present an updated site plan to the city.

The planning commission will likely have to process an amendment to the planned development district to modify the site plan for The Community Builders, she said.

“They’re proposing 40 units, and it’ll still be in conjunction with Welcome Nursing Home. They have some other community partners to provide some other services at the facility,” said Handy.

Scott Mahoney can be contacted at 440-775-1611 or @sm_mahoney on Twitter.

By Scott Mahoney