Building projects are everywhere you look

By Lynn R. Parks

An old sewing factory is being transformed into apartments for senior citizens. The former Kim Manufacturing on Phillips Street in Seaford was purchased by Better Homes of Seaford for $120,000 and will contain 11 affordable apartments for people 62 and older. Charleston Place will be ready for occupancy in December, said Bill Roupp, executive director of the non-profit agency. The 13,000-square foot building will also feature a commons area; the yard around the building will be landscaped and will have a gazebo. Construction work is being done by Sono Antiquarian, Dover. Owner Paul Law specializes in restoring buildings. Better Homes bought the property from the descendents of the owners of Kim Manufacturing, which operated there from 1940 through the mid 1990s. Roupp said that the building was in good shape, except for the brick office space, which had to be torn down. All the apartments will be on the ground floor and will be accessible to the handicapped. Funding for the project was provided by the federal and state governments, Better Homes of Seaford and through private grants. Better Homes of Seaford currently has 88 apartments for senior citizens, in Virginia Crest, Williamsburg Manor and Yorktown Woods, all off Virginia Avenue. All of those complexes have waiting lists. The agency is talking to the city of Seaford about the purchase of 14 acres that the city owns near those developments. That property could accommodate between 50 and 70 apartments for senior citizens, Roupp said. Norman Poole, president of the agency, said that there is a great need for housing for senior citizens. “There are a lot of retired people here, and we need to accommodate them,” he said. “Older people just want to enjoy the rest of their lives; they don’t want to worry about housing, or about upkeep of a house or a yard.”
Better Homes of Seaford was founded in 1969 by then Mayor Bill Slatcher and Seaford resident Harvey Kimbrough, to help improve the housing in east Seaford. Its first complex, Chandler Heights with 91 apartments, was opened in 1971 for low-income people. The newer Chandler Heights II has 25 apartments. The agency is planning to renovate Chandler Heights apartments, modernizing the kitchens, enlarging the bathrooms and adding a community center with a kitchen, a laundry room, a computer center, a conference center and a playground. Roupp expects the project to start the first of 2005 and last from 18 to 24 months. Two buildings of 16 apartments each will be renovated at a time. The residents of the complex will be temporarily relocated.

Other Seaford projects
In addition to the conversion of the old Kim Manufacturing sewing plant into apartments for senior citizens, several other building projects are going on in the city of Seaford. They include:
  • Belle Ayre, a housing development on Atlanta Road, Seaford. The development will include two phases. The first phase will be made up of fewer than 100 single family homes. Construction in that phase is expected to start in the next few weeks. The second phase of the complex will consist of 115 townhouses. Start of construction in the second phase is still pending permits.
  • Governor’s Grant, another Atlanta Road development. Construction is also expected to start within the month. The first phase will feature 98 single-family homes on 30 acres. Phase two of Governor’s Grant will be made up of townhouses. That phase of the development has not been submitted to the city yet for approval.
  • Liquid Assets, a liquor store at the corner of Bridgeville Road and Herring Run Road. The store is set to open July 1, pending final approval by the city.
  • Grottos Pizza on US 13 near Tharp Road. The Grand Slam sports bar is expected to be open by August and will seat about 200.
  • A new office building for the accounting firm Lank, Johnson and Tull is being built on Market Street Extended in the Ross Business Park. Owner Rick Tull expects that the building will be complete by the first of the year.
  • The Seaford District Library is still planning to build on Pine Street Extended, next to the Ross Mansion. The library recently purchased 4.24 acres from the city of Seaford for the 20,000-square foot building. Paula Gunson, spokeswoman for the library, said that a community advisory board and steering committee are in place. No target date has been set.
  • Nurses and Kids has put on hold its plans to build on Market Street Extended. According to Mike Mulvaney with the city of Seaford, the organization is still maintaining its property but has decided not to build at this time.

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