Senior living residence in Silver Spring to receive a makeover -- Gazette.Net


Residents at Arcola Towers, a senior living residence in Silver Spring, soon will have a renovated building.

The plan is part of a Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County renovation project that will include upgrades on heating, ventilation, air conditioning, roofing, electrical systems, and windows.

“It’s a huge opportunity not just for our clients .... Everybody benefits,” said Stacy Spann, executive director of the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, a county agency that owns the 141-unit building.

Spann said the project is “critical to make our community function well.”

Arcola Towers was built in 1972. It’s a residence for people earning at or below the average median income.

The county agency also plans to renovate Waverly House at 4521 East-West Highway in Bethesda. The 158-unit building provides affordable housing for seniors with lower incomes.

According to county documents, each project will cost approximately $24 million.

On June 17, the Montgomery County Council approved a resolution in support of the Housing Opportunities Commission’s request to finance the renovations of Arcola Towers and Waverly House through low-income housing tax credits from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

County documents say the resolution of support is required by the state of Maryland to approve the application.

Other sources of funding for the project will come from seller notes and a permanent mortage.

Spann said Arcola Towers is 96 percent occupied.

Residents will not have to be displaced from their homes during renovations.

The plan is to renovate, for example, an apartment’s full bathroom during business hours. Residents can spend that day at a hospitality suite at the same building, where they can watch television, play games, have refreshments, or read a book.

“We will go in and completely do the kitchen. ... When you come back at night, you have a brand new kitchen,” Spann said.

The renovation plan will continue until each apartment is renovated and upgraded.

“It is an old building. ... But the bones in the building are great,” Spann said, adding that the project is necessary so the building can be ”in great shape for another 40 years.”

Both projects are expected to be completed by March 2015.