Senior housing project postponed

Forty apartments targeted for low and moderate income families can be built on Memorial Avenue, but apartments for senior citizens as tenants can’t get the necessary tax credits.

NRP Group, of Cleveland, Ohio, the builder planning to construct 40 apartments at the site of the former Brodart warehouse once the vacant brick storehouse is razed received tax credits from the state Housing Finance Agency.

The same can’t be said for developers seeking such credits to build senior citizen apartments eyed for Mulberry Street and Via Bella, or Grove Street Commons, on the grounds of the former National Guard armory, according to John Grado, city engineer and director of community and economic development.

The rebuffed developers, Fortus Group, of Fort Wayne, Ind., which continues to pursue building a four-story senior citizen apartment complex on Mulberry Street, and SEDA-Council of Governments Housing Development Corp., Lewisburg, which wants to build on Grove Street, will have to wait about a year for another round of applications, he said.

Memorial Homes remains in the best position because of the investment by private and public entities, including Lycoming County, he said. The county is investing natural gas impact fee money in the project and the city community development block grant money as part of paying back a matching state Department of Community and Economic Development grant for industrial sites reuse, Grado said.

Receiving tax credits is a highly competitive process, according to William E. Nichols Jr., city director of financing.

With the Brodart project getting financing, the city plans to review bids from companies seeking to demolish the warehouse. The demolition and remediation bids are due to the city by May 2.