Real Estate

$11.5M Project to Rehab Grovewood Manor

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A Cleveland-based company is investing $11.5 million to rehabilitate the Grovewood Manor property and its 100 units of affordable housing.

Over the next year, The Millennia Companies will complete several improvements and upgrades to “preserve the affordability and the physical structure of the property” at 3531 Hillman St., says Valerie Jerome, marketing technologist for the company.

Some of the work being done includes new kitchens and bathrooms for each unit, as well as finishings and addressing “structural, systemic or functional deficiencies that have developed over time,” including new ceilings and HVAC updates, she says. A new pavilion will also be built.

“We see affordable housing as essential. It’s much needed,” Jerome says. “If the developments are not preserved, they’ll be abandoned or converted to market rate housing.

“Part of our mission is to enrich the lives of those whom we serve,” she continues.

In 2013, Millennia – through Grovewood Manor LTD – acquired Grovewood from Youngstown Goodwill Apartments Inc. for $2.65 million, according to the Mahoning County Auditor website.

Since that time, “the goal was always to preserve it with a low-income tax credit,” says Valerie Garrity, development manager for Millennia. Last year, Millennia submitted a competitive application to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and was awarded the credit.

Before the project could begin, the property has to be transferred into the tax credit ownership. The transaction to change ownership to Grovewood Manor OH TC LP from Grovewood Manor LTD closed Nov. 27 for $3.8 million, according to the auditor’s website.

OHFA credits cover the cost of the $3.8 million transaction, the $4.5 million in construction costs and the remainder, which go toward engineering, design and legal fees, Garrity says. During the 12-month construction timeline, residents – primarily senior citizens – will not need to be relocated, she says.

“It stays at a high occupancy there. We don’t have any vacancy issues,” Garrity says.

Built in 1978, the 894-square-foot building at 3531 Hillman St. sits on 1.87 acres and includes fencing and paved asphalt. Work on the 100-unit property equates to about $45,000 per apartment, Jerome says.

Grovewood offers three floor plans at 637, 669 and 908 square feet, according to its website. The two smaller floor plans include one bedroom and one bathroom for a monthly rate of $711, while the larger floor plan has two bedrooms and a bathroom for $822. Rents are income-based and calculated exclusively to 30% of the household’s combined adjusted income, the website states. Units are rented to those 62 years and older and/or disabled.

This year, Grovewood Manor was awarded 100% and Platinum Key Awards for Overall Community Appeal from the Northern Ohio Apartment Association. Overall, Millennial apartment communities earned 40 Key Awards from the organization in 2019.

The Millennia Companies operates 275 properties in 26 states, which the company acquires and rehabilitates, Jerome says. “Affordable housing is not 100% of our total portfolio, but it is a larger percentage,” she adds. In addition to affordable housing, Millennia properties include market rate and senior housing communities, according to its website.

Last year, Millennia Housing Management – the property management arm of The Millennia Companies – received a CityScape Beautification Award for its $8 million rehabilitation of International Towers downtown.

In addition to affordable housing, a resident service coordinator at Grovewood provides recommendations and referrals for residents, coordinates services with local agencies and provides monitoring services, as well as conducts assessments, reports and record-keeping. The service coordinator also acts as a liaison between the residents and the community and helps to organize activities and events during the holidays.

Pictured: The Millennia Companies, which manages Grovewood Manor, is investing $11 million to rehabilitate the affordable housing community.

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.