Erie Methodist Towers online for new owner, $20m renovation
An affordable housing company with offices in Virginia and California has reached a deal to buy the Erie Methodist Towers and plans to renovate the 13-story seniors’ complex for $20 million.
Community Preservation Partners has entered into an agreement with Methodist Towers, Inc., a nonprofit founded by First United Methodist Church, to purchase the building.
Erie County property records show CPP, which has offices in Reston, Va., and Irvine, Calif., secured $6.4 million in mortgages to purchase the property, located at 160 W. Eighth St.
Methodist Towers has 138 apartments, and many tenants there receive Section 8 rental subsidies or other assistance through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
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The RPC also announced that Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency low-income housing tax credits, bank loans and other financing will help fund both the purchase and the renovations.
The work will include accessibility improvements, parking repairs, improvements to the building’s community patio, new flooring and renovations to individual apartments.
“We anticipate a meaningful rehabilitation that will make current and future residents proud to call Methodist Towers home,” Seth Gellis, CPP senior vice president, said in a statement.
The company did not provide a timeline for the completion of the renovations. John Fraser, CPP’s Director of Development, said in a statement that Methodist Towers was built in 1973 and “has never been subject to significant rehabilitation and as such the finishes of the units and spaces common ones require upgrades and modernization”.
The company also said residents of Methodist Towers will not be moved during the renovations.
Renee Lamis, chief of staff for Erie Mayor Joe Schamber, said city officials are aware of the CPP’s plans at Methodist Towers and are helping the company explore ways to lock in additional funding for the project. .
“It’s exciting,” Lamis said. “This company is committed to providing affordable housing and we are delighted to partner with them.”
Schamber’s administration recently helped fellow Boston-based affordable housing company Beacon Communities proceed with its $27 million renovation plan at the 100-unit Richford Arms apartment complex in downtown Boston. Erie, 515 State St.
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The Beacon Communities Renovation Plan in Richford Arms, which provides affordable housing for low- and middle-income downtown residents, is funded in part by a $3.5 million low-interest loan from Erie Insurance, the Fortune 500 company whose downtown campus is adjacent to the apartment complex and $2.45 million in loans from the city of Erie.