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Brookpark Place in Wheeling Undergoing Facelift

No Longer Limited to Seniors

Photo by Heather Ziegler David McCarthy from Heritage Housing Inc., the new owners of Brookpark Place in Wheeling, is shown with, at left, Jean Ann Larese, property manager at the high-rise complex, and Lisa Buettner, general manager.

WHEELING — Brookpark Place, one of Wheeling’s earliest private high-rise facilities under new ownership since 2018, is undergoing a $5 million renovation project and changes to its occupancy guidelines.

David McCarthy, representing new owners Heritage Housing Inc. of South Norwalk, Connecticut, is overseeing the renovation work by Colaianni Construction of Dillonvale. Work began in July to upgrade 10 apartment units at a time in the 152-unit, nine-story building located at 1290 National Road. Common areas such as the lobby, library/puzzle room and dining spaces also will see improvements with painting, lighting and flooring. McCarthy estimates work to be complete in 14-18 months.

For decades, Brookpark operated as affordable housing for seniors. McCarthy said the facility will continue to serve seniors, and is opening its doors to all ages and incomes.

“In addition to the repairs, we are also preserving the affordability of Brookpark Place. From 1975 until 2016, Brookpark Place was operated as affordable housing for seniors. However, when we purchased it in 2018, only 30 of the 152 units were protected as long-term affordable housing. With the assistance of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, HUD and PNC Bank, we have raised low income housing tax credit equity and FHA financing that enables us to make 38 of the units affordable to households earning at or below 40% of the area median income and 62 of the units affordable to households earning at or below 60% of the area median income.

The 52 remaining units will be available to anyone at market rates,” McCarthy explained

The facility offers 36 efficiency apartments and 116 one-bedroom units. Upgrades will include new high-efficiency heating and cooling, plus appliances, windows, furnishings and LED lighting. Property Manager Jean Ann Larese, who maintains the office at the highrise, said no tenants are being displaced during the work. She said tenants will be relocated temporarily to “hospitality rooms” available throughout the building until work is finished.

Larese likens Brookpark tenants to “one big family” and enjoys getting to know each tenant.

“Everyone looks out for each other. Someone is on call 24 hours for the residents. We have activities and celebrate different holidays. We have a catered dinner once a month that brings residents together,” Larese said. “I treat them (the residents) as family … as I would want someone to treat my mother.”

Echoing that sentiment are residents Bud and Cindy Young who make it their daily routine to serve as unofficial greeters at the entrance to Brookpark.

“We love it here. It’s like family,” Bud said.

Larese said additional improvements will include the outdoor area at the rear of the building to enhance the green space there. Already in place on the first floor are modern, high-efficiency laundry facilities.

McCarthy credits the various government and private financial agencies for bringing the project to fruition. They include West Virginia Housing Development Fund which allocated 4% low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bond financing; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for loaning the property first mortgage financing and renewed a 20-year project-based Section 8 contract covering 30 of the 152 apartment units; and PNC Bank which purchased the 4% low-income housing tax credits issued by WVHDF.

For questions about Brookpark, call the office at 304-242-5065 weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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