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Construction begins on affordable senior living home in Cary

Village Board approved controversial 62-unit development in 2016

Work has begun to build a 62-unit affordable senior housing development at the southwest corner of Three Oaks Road and Feinberg Drive.
Work has begun to build a 62-unit affordable senior housing development at the southwest corner of Three Oaks Road and Feinberg Drive.

Work has begun on a 62-unit affordable senior housing development at the southwest corner of Three Oaks Road and Feinberg Drive in Cary.

Officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday, but construction began in August, according to the developers behind the plans.

“We’ve been started for a couple weeks,” said Karen Averell, developer with Ohio-based PIRHL, which first presented the project to trustees in October 2015.

It will take between 12 and 14 months to complete, Averell said.

PIRHL operates other area senior housing developments, including Sugar Grove Senior Living in Sugar Grove and Fox River Crossing in Elgin. The developer also has properties in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania.

Village trustees approved the project in 2016. At the time, it was supported by Village President Mark Kownick and trustees Dave Chapman, Rick Dudek and Ellen McAlpine.

At the suggestion of Trustee Jim Cosler, the board took two separate votes on the developer’s requests: one to add regulations specific to senior housing within the zoning code and another to grant the project a conditional use permit.

The approved plan included a community meeting space of up to 1,800 square feet that the developer added at the request of the village, although trustees at the meeting debated the merits of the community room as opposed to collecting more impact fees.

PIRHL will pay $100,000 in impact fees to the village, which equates to $1,612 a unit, and raised the minimum age to live in the facility from 55 to 62.

Cosler and trustees Kim Covelli and Jeff Kraus voted against the project, with Cosler and Kraus questioning the zoning process that led to PIRHL’s passage.

The project received a negative recommendation in December 2015 when requesting variances from the Board of Zoning, Planning and Appeals.

In January 2016, trustees voted to send the project back to the zoning board after the developer expressed concerns about how the vote was handled.

A sign on the property says the project will be completed by fall 2019.

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