A downtown Greenville historic building that was turned into affordable housing units for seniors will be getting an eight-story expansion.
The Greenville Summit building was purchased in 2018 by developer JE Properties. It was originally a hotel but was turned into affordable housing units in the 1970s, said Joseph Eddy, president of JE Properties. He said they promised to keep the property as affordable housing when they purchased it and immediately dumped approximately $2.5 million into it for renovations.
The current building located at 201 W. Washington St. will be undergoing an expansion of 50 units to the current 102 units, a nearly $24 million project, said Eddy.
As a part of the expansion, the new building will be built on the existing site, in the parking lot adjacent to 201 W. Washington St., and the two buildings will be connected via a new single-story hallway and courtyard.
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“This is a great location for seniors and are currently at capacity with a waitlist out about a year now,” Eddy said. “The impetus for this expansion was that and the rents having gone up so much, especially for those on fixed incomes, it becomes difficult to find affordable housing, especially for seniors.”
The project was approved by the Greenville Design Review Board last week. The next step would be to get approval from the Greenville Housing Authority to be a part of its voucher program that would allow residents to pay rent equaling only 30% of their income, said Eddy, averaging $338 a month. If that comes through soon, they will also need to work with South Carolina Housing to receive around $2 million in low-income housing tax credits.
Eddy said the average resident income is about $13,500 a year.
Development has a ‘human piece to it’
Once everything is funded, said Eddy, they are looking to begin the construction of the 14-month expansion early 2024, with the 50 units available in 2025.
“There is a human piece to it,” said Eddy. “Our goal as housing developers is to house people. Organically, we had 27 people come from homelessness, and we believe we are helping solve that problem. Because we are downtown, we have a beautiful property and so many resources, a computer lab, a workout facility, providing meals, and you don’t need a car. We have working class seniors here who contribute to society and want to give them an affordable place to live.”
Living at the Greenville Summit allows access to a full-time residence coordinator who helps residents schedule doctor’s appointments, Meals on Wheels, a community room and kitchen, and other senior convenience measures.
Architect on record is DP3 Architects, with DP3 Architects Principal Meg Terry leading the project for the architecture firm.
“DP3 Architects is thrilled to be a part of the vital need to fill the need for affordable housing for aging seniors in Greenville,” said Terry. “Affordable housing should be dignified and should exude a pride of place. This project embodies that philosophy and also fills an important need within the city.”
This is a difficult project to construct, especially in downtown Greenville, said Eddy.
“Even since the purchase of the building in 2018, the city has worked to streamline this,” he added. “This is a place they want to see business and have been helpful in seeing that happens, and for the push of affordable housing and overall, the improvement of downtown.”