By Kevin O’Rourke
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Germantown area Councilmember Craig Rice were on hand at the Churchill Senior Living for the ceremonial groundbreaking of Phase II of the senior living center on Father Hurley Boulevard on Thursday morning.
The project will feature 133 senior units – 121 of them affordable housing and 12 market-rate units. Thirty units will be one-bedroom and 103 units will be two-bedroom. Financing includes $17.1 million in Housing Opportunities Commission bonds and Montgomery County loans totaling $3.1 million.
“When you look around today,” said Leggett, “and you see Germantown and think that 35 years ago there were only 9,000 residents here. Now in September we just opened the first hospital in the county in 35 years because we have over 86,000 people in the Germantown area. One of the demographic areas where we have had a huge growth in Montgomery County, and in Germantown, is our seniors. To have this opportunity for affordable quality housing here is a significant achievement.”
Leggett praised retiring Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs director Richard Nelson. “The person who in many ways has made my vision of housing and affordability within reach for all income levels in the county is Rick Nelson. He has been such a staunch supporter. In Montgomery County, through his tenure as director of housing, we have preserved, maintained or acquired 15,000 affordable housing units and that is a remarkable achievement in a time when we have had such economic challenges.”
Leggett also praised Oakwood Properties and Churchill Senior Living, “In this project, the county played a significant role in making all of this happen. This is what community – private and public sectors are about, to bring quality housing and to do it with a quality partner is special,” said Leggett.
Rice also praised Joseph F. Parreco, chief executive officer of Derwood-based Oakwood Properties for meeting the needs of the community with the additional of affordable senior housing in Germantown.
“The number one rising demographic in our community is seniors,” said Rice, “and they need a place to live, they need an affordable safe place to live. The three tenants that we are responsible for in the core of government are: food, clothing and shelter. You are making sure that they have shelter. A place that they can call home and live independently or have services as needed. And that matters so much.”
After the ceremonial groundbreaking on the site of the new building which will be constructed on the property behind the existing Churchill Senior Living complex, Parreco said, “The thing that I am most proud of is that this project adds to the fabric of the community. Seniors can stay within the community and maintain those important relationships with our children and grandchildren and we won’t have to move away and make it difficult to maintain those ties. Those ties are more important that money, or units, or anything. It is want makes us a people -- that community, that fabric that binds us all together. This has helped Germantown a much better community. Everybody that has had a part of this can be proud of that fact.”
Counting the Phase I of the Churchill Senior Living apartments, constructed in 2001, the complex will consist of 254 units on completion, 242 of them affordable to seniors earning incomes not exceeding 50-60 percent of the average media income.
The project was designed by Baltimore-based architecture firm, Grimm & Parker, the architect was Mel Thompson, and will be built by Elkridge, MD-based Hamel Builders. The mortgage funding for the project was provided by Wells Fargo Bank and Capitol One was instrumental in the purchasing of the $17.1 million in Housing Opportunities Commission bonds for the project according to Parreco.
Top: Department of Housing and Community Affairs director Richard Nelson, Germantown area Councilmember representative Craig Rice, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, and other dignitaries break ground for Phase II of Churchill Senior Living on Thursday morning.
Next: An artist rendering of Phase II from the Churchill Senior Living web site.
Next: Joseph F. Parreco, CEO of Oakwood Properties and principal owner at Churchill Senior Living.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.