New low income senior housing project proposed for Mission

The old Neff Printing building just north of Panera could become 32 units of senior apartments.
The old Neff Printing building just north of Panera could become 32 units of senior apartments.

A new senior housing project has been proposed for Mission, this time for lower income seniors. The 32-unit building is planned for 7080 Martway, a vacant city-owned property just east of Metcalf that formerly housed Neff Printing.

A number of hurdles remain before the project can be completed, but a city council committee agreed to move forward towards a pre-development agreement with Brinshore Development, a company that has experience in affordable and mixed-income housing projects.

The pre-development agreement gives several months for the city and developer to work out all the issues. The proposed building would be four stories and include a roof garden, art gallery and communal living room. It has both one and two-bedroom units in the design.

Another senior housing project, Aspen Village, is scheduled to start construction nearby later this year on 100 or more senior housing units. They are expected to be completed in 2014 at Mission Crossing along Broadmoor. The city also will gain a small park area at Martway and Broadmoor on land donated by the developers.

Besides being contingent on working out a sale price for the property, Brinshore needs to successfully apply for low income tax credits from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation in order to finance the project as envisioned. The tax credits account for 70 percent of the financing for the nearly $6 million project.

The project targets seniors with household incomes below $24,950 for a one person household and rents as low as $440 per month. The two-person household income target is below $28,500 per year with rents as low as $520 per month. Brinshore’s Todd Lieberman told council members that Mission residents would get preference for 70 percent of the units. He said 26 percent of Mission seniors have incomes less than $25,000 per year while only 8.9 percent of the city as a whole is below that income line.

Three other developers had proposals for more conventional retail, the city’s Martin Rivarola said, but there were concerns that more property is needed to make retail work. Councilor Dave Shepard said the city purchased the property because it was an eyesore. “I think this could be an incremental step (to larger rehabilitation),” Shepard said.

“One of the challenges is re-greening,” Councilor Lawrence Andre said, adding the project frees up homes as seniors move out. Andre said he opposed the initial request for proposals as a waste of time. “How wrong could I be,” he said Wednesday. “I like what I am seeing. This could be a catalyst to redevelop this block.”

Brinshore’s communication to the city says it will look for other opportunities nearby, including artists’ housing on Johnson Drive.