$8.5M senior living complex proposed in Franklin – Daily Journal

This preliminary site plan shows the proposed Westview Village independent senior living facility, which would be home to 64 apartment units for low-to-moderate-income seniors. Submitted image
This preliminary site plan shows the proposed Westview Village independent senior living facility, which would be home to 64 apartment units for low-to-moderate-income seniors. Submitted image

An $8.5 million senior living complex is proposed in Franklin to help close the housing gap for local seniors with low-to-moderate incomes.

Wallick Communities Asset Management is proposing an income-capped independent senior living facility, dubbed Westview Village, at 1058 E. State Road 144, near Westview Drive.

All residents of the facility would be required to be 62 years or older and make between $20,000 and $60,000 a year, said Joe Hall, vice president of development for Wallick Communities.

The complex would include 64 units on three floors, with a parking lot and grassy common area on site, according to plans submitted to the city.

Of the 64 units, 12 would have two bedrooms and 52 would have one. Rents would range from about $300 to $900 per month, based on income and apartment size, Hall said.

The complex would also have several community rooms, a fitness center, a library and computer room, and on-site laundry, documents show.

There would not be any medical care onsite, but a services coordinator would work out of the building for residents who need referrals to local services, Hall said.

Wallick, based in New Albany, Ohio, owns and operates multi-family and senior living facility properties in nine states, including 14 in Indiana. This would be Wallick’s second property in Franklin. The company also owns and operates Franklin Cove Apartments.

The proposal is contingent on approval of a tax credit from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). The company is submitting an application for the credit this month, but won’t know if they are approved until November, Hall said.

IHCDA’s Rental Housing Tax Credit is awarded to help companies build properties such as Westview Village that are income capped to serve low-to-moderate income Hoosiers. The program is funded by federal dollars.

If approved, construction would likely start in 2022, with the building ready for residents in 2023, Hall said.

The Franklin Board of Zoning Appeals last week OK’d a special exception on the height of the building. The exception was needed because the building would be slightly taller than the standard allowed for that area in the city’s zoning code.

Neighbors from Camelot Commons, a nearby subdivision, were concerned the property would cause flooding, given how close it is to the floodplain. But city staff said the building is at a higher elevation than the floodplain. There will also be a drainage pond on the property to catch water offset by the new construction, plans show.

Erin Slevins, a board member of Bridges Alliance of Johnson County, spoke in favor of the development, citing housing insecurity of low-income seniors. Bridges Alliance is a local nonprofit fighting systemic barriers for county residents of low-to-moderate incomes.

In Johnson County, about 30% of residents are considered income constrained, and 35.6% of those residents are seniors. That data and another statistic showing about one in three seniors struggle to afford their mortgage or rent payments is proof the complex is needed in Franklin, Slevins said.

The location is also ideal, especially for seniors who don’t drive, as it is within walking distance of health care facilities, recreation and an Access Johnson County bus stop, she said.