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Brentwood Terrace to add 59-units of senior housing to Jordan

Brentwood Terrace, Jordan’s forthcoming 59-unit independent living apartment building, is expected to significantly expand the city’s senior housing by the end of next year — but will it be affordable?

The Scott County Community Development Agency, the party developing the project, certainly plans to make it so.

“The Scott County CDA is committed to providing really great, affordable, well-maintained housing for our seniors,” Brentwood property director Lorien Mueller said. “We’re really going to keep with that mission.”

Rates at Brentwood Court, Brentwood Terraces’s sister building, currently range from around $620 for a studio apartment, to about $900 for a one-bedroom apartment and up to $1,487 for a two-bedroom apartment with a den.

Mueller said the rental fees for Brentwood Terrace have yet to be determined, but that the CDA is hoping not to stray far from the neighboring building’s rates.

The project, which is expected to break ground in November, is the latest in the agency’s ongoing efforts to provide affordable, independent living for individuals across all Scott County demographics. One glance at the crystal ball, however, shows senior housing will continue to be a topic of concern, as the youngest baby boomers only turn 55 this year — signaling long-term growth in the demographic.

Individuals age 65 and older are expected to make up 22% of Scott County’s total population in 2020, according to a 2016 CDA housing study. Jordan’s senior demographic is on-par with county averages — next year an estimated 1,707 of Jordan’s projected 8,340 residents will be ages 65 and older.

But the obstacles that this influx of elderly citizens brings isn’t news to Jordan, a community that’s been trying to address senior housing needs for years. Seniors who are living on a budget, or looking to downsize, have long been lining up for the few local options available.

Applicants at Schule Haus have to qualify for Section 8 housing and be at least 62 years old or have a disability. The building has 52 units and a waiting list that’s just as large. Only one or two units open up annually. The 50-unit Brentwood Court Apartments offer independent living to individuals ages 55 and older. Their waiting list, too, is substantial.

“There are a lot of people in the Jordan area that are on our waiting list,” Mueller said. “Brentwood Court was essentially full when it opened and has maintained high occupancy since ever since ... All of the properties owned by the Scott County CDA have very strong waiting lists.”

The CDA currently offers 478 units of affordable senior housing in 9 buildings across Scott County — all with active waiting lists.

For those on the waiting lists, however, the new development provides a glimmer of hope.

Coming in 2020

The Brentwood Terrace development will convert three acres of land owned by the Scott County CDA into a three-floor independent living apartment building serving individuals age 55 and older. The $14 million project is financed by Scott County with revenue bonds and an upfront contribution of $1.25 million.

The new building will sit adjacent to the existing apartments, Brentwood Court, and fill out the remaining space on the campus, which includes the Jordan Library, St. Francis Health Services and First Choice Pharmacy.

“The CDA decided to build a standalone clinic and a pharmacy because Jordan did not have a clinic and the pharmacy they had went out of business in 1998,” CDA Executive Director Bill Jaffa said. “This partnership really set the stage for doing something further down the road.”

Jaffa indicated the new building could also serve as a bargaining chip when renegotiating the clinic’s lease in the near future.

“By adding 59 more units we not only build the campus out but we create 109 units that will help support the clinic, the library and the pharmacy. That’s really the energy behind this development,” Jaffa said.

The design and offerings of Brentwood Terrace will be similar to the existing property, Mueller said. The building will house 59 apartments with underground parking, a community room, club room, salon and secure entry.

Mueller said the occupancy interest phone line is currently open. Individuals interested in housing at Brentwood Terrace can call 952-426-4088 to add their name to the list, but spots are not yet being reserved.

“We’re just waiting for some final details before we do our pre-lease,” Mueller said. “Once we get the information set for exactly when it will be available then we will be able to contact the people on that list and give them information to sign up for spaces.”

The project is expected to break ground Nov. 18, followed by a 12-month construction timeline.

Michael Strasburg / Photo by Michael Strasburg  

Belle Plaine High School graduate Jeff Zeitler pours a dry cider sample for a guest. Zeitler is co-owner of Urban Forage Winery & Cider House in Minneapolis.