Park Place reonovation on track for fall completion
Mitchell A. Skurzewski
“The need for affordable housing in Merrill is very high,” Merrill Area Housing Authority Director Executive Director Paul Russell said last week and a huge boost to affordable housing is just months from completion, as Park Place apartments are deep into the renovation process.
The Park Place renovation is still slated to be complete by October or November. Property Manager Theresa Schmeltzer stated that the renovation not only gives the place a much needed facelift but provides new amenities to current and future tenants and the difference from then to now is unreal.
You won’t have to look far to see the inspiration for Park Place with the newly constructed 38-unit Stonebridge Apartments that were completed and occupied by Park Place tenants last September.
“When people drive by, they don’t realize that these buildings are affordable housing which is great for tenants and the community of Merrill,” Russell said.
Park Place apartment building construction was completed in 1970 to include 92 apartments ranging in size from 400 to 480 square feet. The demand for larger and modern apartments in the 20th century is currently a work in progress with the renovation to reduce the building from 92 apartments to 54 apartments. The renovation of the building will allow for the increase of square footage from 600 to 730, which will include new amenities and a more space for two people to reside in a one bedroom apartment. In addition to the larger apartments there was a need for an updated larger elevator to accommodate a full size gurney and personnel to better provide emergency assistance.
The current waiting list for Park Place is long and could be years before the last person on the waiting list may have the opportunity to move-in, according to Schmeltzer. The 22 units that have been remodeled are occupied by tenants currently living at Park Place prior to the renovation.
The new Park Place will have a brand new, larger exercise room, a game room, lounge area with TVs, a salon and a larger kitchen.
When the construction is completed, the tenants will have a much larger living space they can call home and that may not have always been the feeling for some, Schmeltzer said,
“The tenants really take pride in the building improvements,” she added.