The city of Mahtomedi, which has long waited for the Piccadilly Square senior housing project to gain traction, will finally see a construction start come August.

Last week, Washington County commissioners approved $12 million in bonding for the 79-unit, three story building, projected to open in the fall of 2016.

"We see this project as being a major enhancement for downtown that will create a lot more opportunities," City Administrator Scott Neilson said at a hearing that preceded the County Board's 5-0 vote.

The project at 70 Mahtomedi Av. will provide "affordable" living to seniors who have incomes ranging from 50 to 60 percent of the area median income, or about $30,000 for a one-person household and $34,000 for a two-person household.

Sixty of the units will have one bedroom, 19 will have two.

"That type of affordable housing within the county is in high demand," said Commissioner Fran Miron, who represents a portion of Mahtomedi. Providing homes for senior residents is "another form of economic development" for Mahtomedi, he said.

The $16.5 million Piccadilly Square — also funded by other sources, including the city of Mahtomedi and the Metropolitan Council — is the second major senior housing project in Washington County in the past five years. In 2011, Trailside Senior Living opened in Forest Lake.

"It's such a need in Washington County," said Melissa Taphorn of the Washington County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the agency coordinating the project.

Anyone wanting to discuss rentals, she added, can call 651-458-0936.

The land where Piccadilly Square will be built was once home to the Piccadilly supper club.

Commissioner Lisa Weik suggested putting up signs to direct people to the county Wildwood Library farther east on Hwy. 12, Mahtomedi's main street, to "create that meaningful sense of place."

The other commissioner who represents Mahtomedi, Ted Bearth, said Piccadilly Square would benefit Mahtomedi — a city of 8,000 residents — in countless ways.

"I can't see anything but good things coming out of this," he said.

Kevin Giles • 651-925-5037