POLAND, Ohio – During a tour Wednesday morning of the new Inn at Poland Way, its executive director, Debbie Lepore, pointed to an unusual feature at the door of one of its 64 assisted living apartments – a doorbell.
“None of our other [assisted living centers] have them,” she said. “Instead of us knocking on their door, we’ll ring their doorbell.” It’s a feature that makes the assisted living center more “homelike,” she said.
“We don’t just walk in their rooms. Their rooms are locked if they choose to lock them,” she added.
“It’s the first assisted living that I know of that has doorbells,” said Diane Reese, president of EDM Management Inc., Boardman. EDM is the parent company of Briarfield Healthcare Group, which operates The Inn at Poland Way. It officially opens today.
The doorbells were the idea of the CEO of EDM, Ed Reese, (also Diane Reese’s husband),. “He felt like it would make the residents feel like this is their home,” she said. “It’s just another touch.”
So far, about a third of the Inn at Poland Way’s 89 units – 25 memory care units in addition to the 64 assisted living apartments – are booked, Mrs. Reese reported.
“The response has been overwhelming thus far,” she remarked. “We have people who have already selected an apartment and haven’t been able to get in this building. So they’ve already put a deposit down on an apartment unseen.”
Among the features of the center are a styling salon, a theater and an outdoor putting green.
Before today’s opening, the assisted living center served as the site of the monthly meeting of the Western Reserve Port Authority. The port authority helped the $12.5 million project with a capital lease and tax increment financing.
“Things like this just don’t happen overnight,” Ed Reese told the port authority board of directors. “Without your help, quite frankly I don’t know if we could have done it,” EDM’s chief financial officer, Robert Rupeka, said.
The tax increment financing, which helped pay for the road, saved the company some $350,000 and the capital lease saved somewhere between $250,000 and $300,000, he reported. “So it shaved about $600,000 off of our $12.5 million project,” he said.
During its meeting, the port authority approved increasing to $20 million the bonds it can issue for Hallmark Campus Communities. This fall, Hallmark broke ground on the second phase of its University Edge apartments project near Youngstown State University. Phase I, is a 162-bed apartment building. The second phase, slated to be open for the fall 2017 semester, will feature 222 beds and include a stand-alone Barnes & Noble bookstore that will serve as the campus bookstore.
Anthony Trevena, director of the Northeast Ohio Development Finance Authority, the economic development arm of the port authority, attributed the need to increase the bonding authority to higher construction costs than anticipated.
“We have to match whatever the construction amount is going to be or exceed it,” he said.
In addition, the port authority approved partnering with Oak Hill Collaborative on a study to explore universal broadband access in Mahoning County and to apply for brownfield remediation grants for some of the properties it studied under a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2013.
Oak Hill Collaborative, a not-for-profit community and economic development agency on Youngstown’s south side, is looking to apply for a grant “just to draw up the blueprint to create a system that will provide universal access,” said Sarah Lown, public finance director of the finance authority. The grant the collaborative seeks is available only to political subdivisions.
“So we’re going to be the ones that file for the grant and then they’re going to be the ones that carry out the activities of the grant. It’s a great partnership,” she said.
The port authority tested about a dozen properties under an earlier EPA grant and got estimates for cleanup costs. The remediation grant sought is only for applications of $200,000 or less, and the port authority identified three properties that would qualify, Lown said.
“We’re still looking at all three,” she said. “The port authority will play a role either filing for the grant as a sponsor or as a partner, so we needed the authorization of the board to move forward to the U.S. EPA for their Dec. 22 deadline with the proposal.”
Pictured: The Western Reserve Port Authority’s Sarah Lown and John Moliterno; EDM’s Diane, Ed and Eddie Reese.
Copyright 2016 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.