DARTS and Real Estate Equities have entered into a preliminary partnership agreement to develop affordable senior apartments adjacent to DARTS. The partnership is seeking to leverage support from the city, Dakota County, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to serve the community. Expected to open to residents in early 2020, the 172-unit complex will be available to those 62 and older who meet maximum income standards as set by the financing agencies.
The demand for affordable senior apartments remains high. The Dakota County Community Development Agency (CDA) closed their wait list for senior rentals on June 1, 2017 and typical wait times are 1 to 2 years.
“This is a great option for senior living,” said Ann Bailey, DARTS President. “Congregate living really appeals to some people because there is less maintenance and more activity. And, we are hoping many residents will choose to volunteer for various DARTS programs,” she added.
The DARTS campus is an ideal location for seniors: a public library, healthcare, Robert St. retail, and DARTS are all within a block. DARTS main offices will continue operating on the campus, providing transportation, services, and volunteer opportunities in the community.
DARTS and Real Estate Equities have entered into a preliminary, joint partnership agreement for the project. The nonprofit’s mission is “Creating connections that enrich aging,” and using the campus for housing is a natural fit. Real Estate Equities is a residential property and apartment management company whose mission is “Providing Housing. Building Communities. Enhancing Lives.” The developer views this location as a great opportunity to provide high quality, affordable living.
The site plans are currently in review with West St. Paul city staff. The 172-apartment (mix of one and two bedrooms) facility will cover about 3 acres on the north end of the DARTS property. The complex will incorporate greenspace, a screened in porch and activity and exercise areas. A sidewalk will stretch across the entire property on Wentworth and Marthaler. Dakota County will add a crosswalk to connect residents to the north side of Wentworth. Residents are encouraged to attend City Council meetings and talk to their representatives about the project.
The development partnership will reduce ongoing maintenance expenses for the nonprofit and provide them a moderate income stream. DARTS provides services to help older adults live in the home of their choice for as long as possible, supports those caring for older adults, and offers transit services like the popular LOOP services in West St. Paul, South St. Paul, Lakeville, and Hastings. “The new building will definitely be a LOOP stop,” said Jan Hix, DARTS Transportation and Home Repairs Program Manager.