Livability involves being a place that people want to live. A key driver to this is having places to live at all levels of affordability and stages of life. Livability is also enhanced by a general well-being of the people in the place. Providing areas for exercise and social interaction can increase well-being.
Sturtz has facilitated neighborhood livability studies in coordination with developers and local cities/towns across Indiana resulting in the addition of 450 affordable housing units in nine developments totaling over $80M.
“Kristi’s experience with community development work is evident in her livability studies. She takes the time to get to know the community and its strengths and weaknesses to develop a study that highlights what is most important and provides a set of goals and an action plan to get there. We have appreciated Kristi’s professionalism and timely delivery each time we have called on her to provide a neighborhood/community livability study.”
Dawn Gallaway, Keller Development, Inc.
Project Highlights Below
SENIOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
In the early 2000’s, East Allen County Schools was faced with the difficult decision to consolidate their school system due to the state’s new voucher system and a loss of students. Woodburn Elementary was once of the schools that was closed which was felt as a significant blow to the community. In 2013, Sturtz Public Management began working with the City to establish a Strategic Plan for the community. The need for repurposing the school was one of the top priorities identified. The strategic plan also identified a need for senior housing and an exercise facility.
Sturtz approached local LIHTC Developer, Keller Development, on behalf of the city to see if they would have any interest in redeveloping the property for senior housing use. The facility is now Phoenix Manor, a 33-unit senior housing development equipped with a movie room, library, fitness center with community access, game room, indoor walking path, and outdoor raised gardens. This project received the Indiana Lt. Governor’s Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing, Rural Development Category in 2019.
Kady Gene Cove
The need for additional housing was identified as part of the East Allen Rural Revival Regional Development Plan facilitated by Sturtz Public Management. The Meadowbrook Rural Revival Target Area in New Haven, the largest City in the region, was identified as a priority location for this investment. Keller Development, Inc. agreed to partner with the region and is in the process of completing Phase 1 of this development on a 10-acre infill site which provides 50 two-bedroom duplex units for low-income seniors. The project will fulfill a community need by providing affordable rental housing for seniors at or below 60% of the area median income. Phase 2 of the development will include an additional 50 two-bedroom duplex units of market rate housing and is planned to start construction in 2021.
All units have two full bathrooms and a full kitchen with a range, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, and garbage disposal. Each unit also has a washer and dryer. Appliances are Energy Star-rated and plumbing fixtures are water conserving. The duplexes incorporate numerous Universal Design features for safety and accessibility and every unit also includes a 1 car attached garage. These features have been incorporated specifically with seniors in mind so that they may age in place in their homes for as long as they choose to live at Kady Gene Cove.
An on-site community building has also been constructed to include a community room with a full kitchen and television for resident’s use, a leasing office, and a fitness room. Outdoor amenities including raised gardens, a gazebo, a covered patio, a bike kiosk and a fenced in dog park will also be available to residents. Kady Gene Cove was also able to participate in the New Haven Community Foundation’s Bulldog Community Art Project and is proudly displaying a magnificently painted bulldog, by artist Kim Linker, on the patio of the community building. The development is also a short distance from the New Haven Community Center giving an easy opportunity for residents to enjoy the community center as well as upcoming Stellar-funded, New Haven Community Center Park improvements scheduled for 2021.
COMMUNITY CENTER PARK
In 2020, Sturtz Public Management facilitated a funding application on behalf of the City of New Haven, IN which was awarded $1,718,935 in CDBG funds by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) through the Stellar Communities Program. This project is a component of NewAllen’s East Allen Rural Revival Regional Development Plan, which led the region to being named an Indiana Regional Stellar Community Designee in 2018.
The Community Center Park Project includes: an outdoor plaza with overhead shade structures, seating walls and security lighting to provide a space to relax and connect; a concession/restroom/utility building to provide for refreshment and park functionality; a splash pad to provide an aquatic recreation experience as well as cooling opportunity in the summer months; ADA compliant playgrounds to provide opportunities for physical exercise and socialization for children; pickleball and basketball courts to provide physical exercise for all ages; an open activity lawn to be used for a variety of social and physical activities; ADA accessible sidewalks and lighting to connect amenities to each other and the park to adjacent neighborhoods; overflow parking to accommodate increased use of the property for park use; utility improvements to support function of the park.
The overall goal of the project will be to address the lack of recreational amenities in the Meadowbrook Target area by developing the New Haven Community Center Park as a safe and accessible recreational environment that will improve community health and wellbeing. Project construction is underway.