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Local officials break ground for new senior apartment complex

by RMarschilok
Wed, Jun 28th 2017 11:00 am



It was two-and-a-half years in the making, but Warsaw with be home to a newly built senior living facility.

During a groundbreaking ceremony held late Tuesday morning, Calamar officials, as well as local and county dignitaries, and members of the community, gathered in the empty lot just off North Main Street to celebrate the project. 

Officially named Grandview Terrace, the county's older community members will soon have the option of residing in Calamar's 11th built, 55-year-old-plus independent living community in the northeast region. 

The property will feature a community room with kitchen for events and entertaining that is also available to residents free of charge for private events; a well-appointed lounge/library with fireplace for informal living outside the apartment home; a community laundry, a fitness center for physical well being and much more for residents to enjoy. Garages are available on a first-come, first serve basis at an additional cost.

Both one and two bedroom, pet friendly apartments are available with pre-leasing rents ranging from $849 to $1185 per month. All apartments will be furnished with a washer and dryer as well as all major kitchen appliances. 

Not only will the 120-unit apartment complex be new to the county, the town will be gaining a new road. 

Grandview Terrace will have a, yet to be determined, address on what will be called Conable Way, says Warsaw Town Supervisor Becky Ryan.

"Part of the contract with Calamar is that they build a roadway to the facility and we (the Town) will be responsible for it," Ryan said. "Along with the maintenance of the road, it also fell to the Town to name it. It is the first time in a long time we've had an opportunity to name a road."

The Town decided on Conable Way in honor of Judge John Conable, and Barber Conable. Both men are World War II veterans and local residents of note, says Ryan. 

The new residences, a $14.2-million capital investment project, meets the needs of the community and creates job growth for the county's residents, says Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Executive Director Jim Pierce. 

"This is the second largest private capital investment in Wyoming County," Pierce said. "This is the first housing development project we've ever done. And adding a piece like this project adds to the overall quality of the county."

Grandview Terrace is a private sector capital investment project in which allowed the IDA to be involved in. Calamar met the eligibility for IDA incentives, which in turn provided a commitment on the part of Calamar to build in Wyoming County. Additionally, the incentives were contingent upon local government approval, says Pierce.

Also, by having the infrastructure already in place - the Town contracts through the Village for the water and sewer district - was an added incentive to bringing this project in, says Ryan.

"We are all about creating a better quality of life and provides a vital need in the community," Pierce said. "My belief is this project may help spur some other commercial development projects in the county."

One of the marketing strategies the IDA uses is the county's cost competitiveness, citing project costs would be higher in an more urban area for all aspects of construction or remodeling. Pierce says this project shows that a company is not afraid to invest more than $14 million dollars in the county. 

"It sends a message to developers that Wyoming County is a good place to do business and build a business. We are more laid back. Calamar did their homework and knows it's a good investment for them."

"Grandview Terrace will cater to middle class income households. Our model will enable our residents to enjoy comfortable living at competitive and economical pricing facilitating seniors to preserve their assets for their individual long term goals", said Northeast Regional Director Michael Morris. "The economic issues of today have greatly impacted seniors and we are excited to continue to forge forward and bring this affordable housing model to Warsaw."

The apartment complex fills more than just the need of the county's older residents, it also opens up housing stock for younger people or those who want to upgrade their housing situation, says Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism President Scott Gardner. 

"We know there are people looking for residential properties," Gardner said. "This project helps out two generations at the same time. The other benefit is you create a community of 120 units and it gets new people to possibly come into this area."

The senior living community is somewhat self-contained, but not so much where its residents aren't going to go out into the surrounding towns and villages for goods and services.

"Potentially 120 new people moving into Warsaw to use the shops and services offered in the county. The potential for new business to grow, or pop up, or to move here, plus those family members that come visit... and they can maybe stay in a bed and breakfast or local motel. 

There is a multiplying effect in the county - the services and providers. Restaurants, the hardware store... People need furniture and decorations... - Any time you have something like this, it multiplies the impact in the county."

And with new residents comes a gain in sales tax revenue generated by local purchases made, which has a direct impact on the county budget. Additionally, once the PILOT agreement has been completed - the program abates the real property tax on the increased value of the property once the project is complete - Calamar will be paying property taxes, says Wyoming County Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Berwanger. 

The IDA does not reduce the existing tax obligation, the base assess value or assessed amount of the existing property remains billable at normal tax rates, IDA officials say.

"We are thrilled they are here," Berwanger said. "It's a major private investment for our county."

But before the residents even begin to move in, the project will need manpower and building materials for the new construction, all in supply within the county, thus adding to immediate growth for the community.

"We are really excited about this whole project," Ryan said. "It's a great facility for the area and those who are in the middle income level. It's good for the snowbirds to come back to because the maintenance will be taken care of."

Officials also anticipate the increase in population will bring further progress in the Valley, but at this point don't really know what the next steps will be.

"It was a great effort and learning experience to get all the pieces together," Ryan said. "A special thanks goes to Kathy Smith (Warsaw town clerk). She had a lot of work and time frames to work within. Not only did a multitude of agencies work together to get the project to come together, Calamar has been great to work with."

Grandview Terrace is expected to be completed by late summer 2018. There are no entry fees, buy-ins or surcharges. For more information, contact Mary Beth at (716) 946-6444.