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$15M rehab nears finish

Rochester Business Journal
August 24, 2012

A $15 million renovation of an independent senior living facility in Perinton is nearing completion after several years of planning and the involvement of a dozen funding sources.

Fairport Apartments has scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 28 to celebrate the completion of the project led by the developer, Rochester's Cornerstone Group Ltd.

The multimillion-dollar makeover rehabbed 14 buildings constructed in 1972. There are 13 two-story apartment buildings totaling 67,400 square feet, along with a 4,000-square-foot community center.

The finishing touches are being added this month on the roughly 4.5-acre site. The 104-unit site is near full occupancy and has a waiting list, officials said.

"The Fairport Apartments project was a complicated rehabilitation in terms of the financing, the temporary resident relocation and the construction techniques required to revitalize a 40-year-old campus," said Lawrence Jones, development associate at Cornerstone. "A dedicated team comprised of construction professionals, social workers, property managers and funders all came together to deliver this project on time, on budget and with as little inconvenience to the residents as possible."

Fairport Apartments LLC owns the facility. It is a joint venture of Cornerstone, Fairport Baptist Homes Caring Ministries and Perinton Churches Housing Inc., which is a collaboration of 13 religious groups that support senior housing.

Pat Holman, president of Perinton Churches Housing, said the agency is thrilled with the rehabilitated complex, noting an emphasis on making it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and designed for sustainability.

"I was out walking the complex about four weeks ago, and tenants were coming up to me, complimenting the project," she said. "To me, that's the reward."

It took roughly five years to arrange funding, Jones said. The two biggest sources were $8.8 million in tax credit equity from Raymond James Tax Credit Funds Inc. and a nearly $3.5 million seller's note. Additional funding sources included the state Housing Trust Fund Corp., the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Monroe County.

Once the money was secured, construction started last September. Lecesse Construction Services LLC was the general contractor. Smith + Associates Architects PLLC was the project architect.

A focus was on making the buildings handicapped-accessible at the income-based senior housing complex. Small elevators were added in the residential buildings, as were roll-in showers and automatic doors. In addition to increased insulation and more energy-efficient windows, solar power was added at the site.

Other changes include doubling the size of the community center, with a larger kitchen and dedicated craft area, as well as installing a washer and dryer in each tenant building.

Exterior upgrades included adding gable roofs to replace flat ones and putting pervious pavement in a section of the parking lot. Pervious pavement allows the movement of stormwater through the surface, reducing the amount of runoff.

The apartments are for seniors whose income is less than 50 percent of the area's median. For 2012, that works out to $24,050 for a single person and $27,500 for a couple. Monthly rents are $385 and $447, depending on the size of the one-bedroom apartments. Utilities are included.

Those involved say they are eager to showcase the project next month.

"The campus has been dramatically improved and is ready to serve another generation of seniors," Jones said.

adeckert@rbj.net / 585-546-8303

8/24/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.

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