Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:29PM - 186 Views

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Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Matthew Rule of National Church Residences appeared before Portsmouth City Council Monday night to enlist their support in the project to renovate the facility known as Riverview Retirement Center.

The sale of Riverview, 500 Second St. in Portsmouth, by Southern Ohio Medical Center to National Church Residences took place on Jan. 31 of this year. In September, a purchasing agreement between the two entities was signed, pending U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approval.

Riverview is a housing development for those 62 and older located in the historic Boneyfiddle section of Portsmouth. It consists of two renovated historic hotels beside a landscaped garden and courtyard. Apartments are fully equipped and close to a safe parking area. Residents are provided with 24-hour security, locked doors and inside mail facilities.

National Church Residences, based out of Columbus, is the nation’s largest not-for-profit developer and manager of affordable senior housing and services.

Rule said the organization is in the process of applying to a competitve tax credit program from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

“We are encouraged to receive local support, and we have a letter that (Portsmouth City Clerk) Ms. (Diana) Ratliff has, that if signed by the majority of Councilmen here tonight, we would receive a substantial amount of points that really increases our ability to obtain this funding from this competitive application process,” Rule said.

National Church Residences owns senior living projects in 28 different states, consisting of some 300 facilities, which equates to approximately 20,000 units across the U.S.

Rule said rehabilitation of Riverview is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014.

“The construction contract will be somewhere in the ballpark of $5 to $8 million,” Rule said. He said the cost of the rehabilitation of the building, housing 160 units, would be between $40,000 and $50,000 per unit.

“We were fortunate to have received really good feedback in the last 12 to 18 months we have been working with the local community,” Rule said. “Main Street Portsmouth, we’re happy to say endorse the project, and we have been in discussion with them.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com.

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