Senior housing development proposed again


After taking eight months to reassess their proposal, developers are taking another shot at bringing a senior housing development to Seymour.

One of the biggest hurdles for the project is the fact that the proposed 2.2-acre site at 500 S. Poplar St., south of Schneck Medical Center, is contaminated from its former uses as the Seymour Woolen Mill and later Seymour Electronics.

Environmental investigations of the property began in 2006 when contaminants, including petroleum and chlorinated solvents, were discovered in the soil and later in the groundwater. In 2015, environmental cleanup and remediation began, and those efforts continue today.

“This parcel has some very serious environmental contamination,” said Tim Morgan, president of Jonesboro Investments Corp. “To say that it is tainted would likely be an understatement.”

Morgan said extensive environmental cleanup will have to take place before the property can receive state certification to be eligible for residential living.

As the developers, Jonesboro Investments also will need to design a storm water management system that meets city engineering requirements before the project advances.

“It’s a long and expensive project, but one that we feel we can accomplish,” Morgan said during a recent Seymour City Council meeting.

Mayor Craig Luedeman said the developers will get credit for making use of property that currently is considered “ground fill.”

“They would get application points going forward because of that,” he said.

Jonesboro Investments is no stranger to projects of this nature, Morgan said.

“We undertook a very similar project in Columbus where we redeveloped the Golden Casting Foundry plant that again had significant environmental contamination,” he said. “So I believe we have a modicum of intelligence about how to go about cleaning them up.”

Jonesboro Investments and Thrive Alliance first approached the city council in September 2017 with the idea for the affordable housing complex for residents 55 and older.

At that time, the plans for Crossroads Village Apartments called for a four-story building with 72 one- and two-bedroom units. To get the project approved with few if any variances, the number of apartments has been decreased by seven to 64, Morgan said.

Rent costs are expected to be between $525 and $700 per unit, he said. The housing will be income based, so there is an income range that a tenant would have to be within to qualify.

Morgan provided a preliminary site plan to the council members as a way to reintroduce the project for their consideration.

“We would like to come back in a more formal context to present more substantively about the project at the next city council meeting,” he said.

Councilman Shawn Malone said the council would “welcome more information.”

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