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Grant to fund senior housing in Hagerstown

September 18, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown Housing Authority received a $9.88 million federal grant Friday to build a public housing project for senior citizens at the site of the former H.L. Mills Station at 55 W. Baltimore St.

Ted Shankle, the authority's executive director, said he received word Friday afternoon from the offices of U.S. Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, both Maryland Democrats, that the grant had been awarded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"We're ready to start immediately," Shankle said. "You'll probably see construction within the next few months."

Shankle said the grant will pay for a majority of the project's $12 million to $13 million cost.

The project also will receive about $2.75 million in state tax credits, he said.

The housing project will have 60 units and cater primarily to people 55 and older, Shankle said.

The authority will be the co-developer of the project with Pennrose Properties Inc., the same group that developed the Gateway Crossing housing complex on the city's West End, Shankle said. As a stipulation of the agreement, at least 60 percent of the labor must be performed by the local work force.

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"It will bring jobs," Shankle said. "The point of this is to stimulate the economy."

Shankle said the project should be "substantially complete" in about a year.

An urgent care facility also is being considered to serve residents in that area, Shankle said. The site, however, has not been decided at this point.

The energy-efficient design of the project calls for the use of geothermal energy for heating, and techniques for water and energy conservation, according to a press release issued Friday by the offices of Cardin and Mikulski.

The Public Housing Capital Funds that were awarded Friday "are provided through The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and are specifically designated for the creation of energy efficient communities through substantial rehabilitation or new construction of public housing developments," the release said.

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