Former HealthLinc building eyed for apartments

2013-07-02T16:50:00Z 2013-07-02T17:55:14Z Former HealthLinc building eyed for apartmentsSUSAN EMERY Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 02, 2013 4:50 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | While the HealthLinc clinic hasn't officially closed its doors at its College Avenue location, plans are moving forward to convert part of the building into efficiency housing.

Paul Schreiner, president of Project Neighbors, spoke to Valparaiso's Site Review Committee on Tuesday about plans to renovate the top two floors of the building at 454 S. College Ave. into 18 residential units.

HealthLinc is relocating to a new building at 1001 Sturdy Road and will open its doors to patients July 8.

Schreiner, accompanied by Mike Willard of Willard Plumbing and Jeff Lewis of Design Organization, said each unit would have its own bathroom and mini-kitchen.

The units will be studio-type apartments about 250- to 300-square-feet each and although the kitchens will have refrigerators, there will be no stoves, Lewis said.

Schreiner said there are no immediate plans to change the lower level of the building, and it officially will remain a community center. However, the “likelihood of that changing is high,” he said.

Valparaiso Planning Director Tyler Kent said the project will need to go before the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the issue of parking still has to be resolved.

"The big elephant in the room is parking,” Kent said.

Schreiner said there are options available for parking in the surrounding area, but the number of parking spaces needed for apartment residents actually will be much less than what HealthLinc used for its employees and patients.

The units will be single-occupancy and geared toward low-income residents, many of whom do not own cars, he said.

The goal is to start the renovation work in September, and have the units ready for occupancy in early 2014. The monthly rent for each unit would be about $400, Schreiner said.

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