Construction is to begin next year in Lakeville on a new affordable housing building for seniors that the Dakota County Community Development Agency (CDA) expects to open in 2017.

The 62-unit, three-story Argonne Hills will be the agency’s fourth project in Lakeville and the 29th of 30 that it will develop countywide under current plans, said Kari Gill, the agency’s deputy executive director.

Argonne Hills, like the agency’s other senior buildings, is designed for residents age 55 and older and features one- and two-bedroom apartments. It will go on 3 acres northeast of Junelle Path and south of 175th Street, according to city documents. Lakeville City Council members approved planning-related measures for the project on Feb. 2.

The new Lakeville project likely will have a Prairie-Style exterior to go with its surroundings and to allow for a lower roof profile, Gill said. While the CDA’s senior apartment building exteriors vary, they typically offer similar amenities, including community rooms with kitchens, sitting and library areas, laundry facilities and heated underground parking, according to the agency’s website.

More senior housing

The CDA is also working on two other senior housing projects in Dakota County.

The agency expects to begin construction this summer on Cambrian Commons, a 60-unit senior housing development in Rosemount on South Robert Trail south of 145th Street West. Hillcrest Pointe, a 66-unit senior housing complex in Inver Grove Heights, is to open this spring.

The agency has yet to identify a site for its 30th senior housing development, Gill said.

“We have sort of done our senior housing in three phases of 10 buildings each,” Gills said. “Beyond that we don’t really have plans to do more, not that we couldn’t change that in the future. But our plans now are to do the one in Rosemount this year, the one in Lakeville next year and a future building that we’d probably do in 2017.”

Gill said the agency will assess ongoing needs in 2020 or sometime after the 30th building is complete.

While the agency has waiting lists for affordable senior housing, the composition of those lists varies.

“Every time we build a new building we have waiting lists,” Gill said. “We always find a new group of people on the waiting list. It might be that it’s in a city where they weren’t aware that we had senior housing or it’s been 10 years since we’ve done our other building in that city. So now people that weren’t paying attention to it the last time are now paying attention to it.”

Family ties also influence demand for senior housing.

“The other [instance] where we have a lot of people move into our buildings is if their adult children live in the area, they want to move their parents closer to them,” Gill said. “The more buildings we have, obviously the more opportunities we have for folks.”

The agency’s newer buildings, including those in Rosemount and Lakeville, offer flat-rate rents, Gill said. While those rates can change each year, the one-bedroom rent for seniors who meet income limits is $592 per month while the two-bedroom rate is $722 per month, according to the agency’s website.

 

Todd Nelson is a freelance writer in Woodbury. His e-mail address is todd_nelson@mac.com.