Large Kettering building demolished; $22M in housing planned at site

Two new Kettering apartment buildings estimated to cost a combined $22 million-plus call for 103 units at the former Ohio Bell/AT&T building site on Woodman Drive.

The AT&T building was recently demolished at 3233 Woodman Drive, roughly across from the Woodman Lanes bowling center. The Lofts, a project involving County Corp and the Oberer Companies, will be general workforce occupancy affordable housing, while The Senior Village, involving St. Mary Development Corp. and Oberer, will offer affordable housing to those 55 and older, officials said.

Those involved with both projects cited a shortage for such housing and a good location.

The Lofts are “being constructed to provide a needed housing alternative in the community,” said Steve Naas, president of County Corp.

“We all know the price of housing has gone up — (both for) rental and for purchase,” he added. “Part of that is because we don’t have enough. And we certainly don’t have enough affordable housing in this greater community. So, this is to work toward addressing part of that issue.”

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

State records show each development is estimated to cost north of $11 million, and they are affordable housing developments qualifying for Ohio tax credits, an issue that has been a concern to some Kettering residents.

Local officials have said the city has little control over approval of state-subsidized developments so long as they meet zoning codes, which they say both The Lofts at Kettering Town Center and The Senior Village at Kettering Town Center do.

Residents near two other new Kettering workforce housing developments receiving tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency — Hempstead Landing and Darby Run — last month questioned the city’s ability to limit such residential plans.

Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman told them state applications for tax credit assistance on housing developments in the city score well.

“The city of Kettering is part of that application — not because we sign off on it or give them money … we’re part of it because they have to answer questions about public transportation, shopping, amenities in the district or in the area,” he said.

“And so, Kettering scores well on those applications because we have those types of things, because we are — as I would call it — a first-tier suburb,” Schwieterman added.

Regardless of the community, Naas said, “there are landlords that don’t maintain properties appropriately … and then there are landlords that do exactly what’s needed to be done.

“Some of this concern that people have — I suspect — is because generally they have this issue with rental properties … it’s different than their situation.”

Naas said the number of job opportunities and services within walking distance of the new development were pluses.

The “demand for senior housing in the market area for this property is high,” Wesley Young, St. Mary executive vice president, said in an email.

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It is also near amenities that future residents will find beneficial, including groceries and pharmacies, he added.

The Lofts include one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 681 to 1,138 square feet, according to plans submitted to the city. The 51 units would serve tenants at 30%, 50% and 60% of area median income, state records show.

The Senior Village would be a mix of 52 one- and two- bedroom units varying from 650 to 863 square feet, serving seniors at 30%, 50% and 60% of area median income, according to records.

Construction on both developments is expected to start after funding closes, likely in August, officials said.

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