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Work Begins on Unique Covenant Place Redevelopment Project

February 24, 2015 | McCormack Baron Salazar

St. Louis, MO – Work starts today on a massive redevelopment at Covenant Place on the Jewish Community’s Millstone Campus that will be a national model for providing affordable housing and a host of senior services to the growing elderly population. Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel will be on hand to announce the start of the $19.7 million Phase 1 of the project, which will create 101 new one-bedroom universally designed apartments.

"As the Baby Boom population ages, we see the Covenant Place project as a wonderful model for serving this population and maintaining St. Louis County’s place as a leader in serving seniors,” Joan Denison, Executive Director of Covenant Place, said before the announcement.

The entire project is scheduled for three phases at a total cost of $82.5 million, and will include additional housing units and a Senior Lifestyle Center, with amenities such as a computer lab, banking services, a media room and office space for visiting social service experts.

The project to replace existing apartments increases the level and quality of services for seniors living on Covenant Place’s Millstone campus and the surrounding community, while addressing the increasing obsolescence and inadequacies of the current buildings.

"Covenant Place has a long history of serving seniors in St. Louis County,” Zweifel said. “I am proud to join them as they celebrate this new chapter and expand the reach of the unique model they have developed for this community.”

The new facilities are designed to address the growing need for affordable senior housing, as the elderly population in the United States is expected to grow rapidly. The percentage of Americans 65 and older has grown from 5.4 percent in 1930 to 12.9 percent today, and is expected to grow still more to 20 percent in 2035, according to U.S. Census data.

The elderly are also living increasingly longer as well. AARP notes that today’s 65-year-old is expected to live an additional 20 years. “These numbers show starkly the need to prepare for our growing elderly population in a way that research says is healthy: By aging in place, with the services they need close at hand,” added Denison.

Phase 1 of the project is partly funded with tax credits and a HOME loan from Missouri Housing Development Commission and had been designated by St. Louis County as its No. 1 priority project to receive a competitive 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) award in 2013.

In addition to the provisions afforded by the LIHTC program, the majority of the building’s apartments are rent-subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 housing program. The project provides a unique opportunity to offer a range of services, programs and amenities to support older adults from varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds to age with dignity.

AARP in 2013 designated St. Louis County as one of 14 “age-friendly communities” across the United States for its work as “a national trailblazer in preparing for the needs of the growing number of mature adults both today and in coming decades.”

McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc., is the developer for the Covenant Place redevelopment project. S.M. Wilson & Co. is the general contractor and KAI Design & Build is the architect. All three St. Louis-based companies work nationally developing affordable senior housing communities.