A cornerstone placement and dedication ceremony held on Thursday, March 21 marked the unveiling of a 38-unit senior housing development in New Cassel. Known as Apex, the facility - which is slated to open next spring - is a joint effort by the not-for-profit Anna and Philip Kimmel Foundation and the Town of North Hempstead.
Once complete, the Apex Senior Citizens Housing facility will provide affordable homes to some 50 local seniors. Photo courtesy of the Kimmel Foundation
Located on a one-acre site at Union Avenue, Grand and Center Streets, Apex will provide affordable apartments to 50 seniors on a site that formerly housed two private and rundown homes. Aimed at seniors who are well enough to maintain their own health viability, the goal of Apex is to provide an environment where seniors can flourish rather than just merely survive.
As residents, seniors at Apex will have the opportunity to choose from single or double occupancy living quarters. A single, one-bedroom unit is expected to cost between $509 and $624 a month while a two-bedroom shared-unit is expected to cost between $350 to $380. Both rents are subject to modification and do not include utility costs.
Compatibility for the shared apartments will be determined by professional social workers from the Family and Children's Agency who will review profiles and meet with the potential sharers. Additionally, potential shares will meet and spend time together prior to being placed together.
Howard Kimmel, founder of the Anna and Philip Kimmel Foundation, said the living arrangements at Apex will provide tenants with an opportunity to form friendships, replace loneliness and depression while creating physical and emotional support. "Residents will have one large family of approximately 50 people who will be mutually supporting one another," said Kimmel. "They will become new friends of one another and look after one another so that loneliness will be translated into companionships. On the whole, the buildings can be characterized as an environment, rather than just unrelated apartments."
The four story building will include a basement laundry room, two living floors and an upstairs community room. An elevator will be installed to allow easy access throughout the building. Although it will not be a health-related facility, the accommodations will include social services and an emergency calling system. It will also feature a room reserved for visiting doctors, nurses and another for social workers from the Family and Children Association.
Through the efforts of Howard, his wife, Sylvia, sister, Gladys Hymanson and sister-in-law, Harriet Kimmel, the Great Neck-based foundation was established in 1995 in honor of Howard and Gladys' late parents Anna and Philip Kimmel. Over the years, the foundation has constructed a roof on a domestic violence shelter, supported Long Island Ronald McDonald House, created a director of shared housing facilities by the National Shared Housing Resource Center and provided monies to help single parent families purchase their rental homes through the Community Development Corporation. This is the first time the foundation has embarked on a senior citizens facility.
"This is the first development to grace the Union Avenue coordinator," said Kimmel. "It will mean much improvement to that area."
"The groundbreaking for the Apex housing has far more significance than just the start of splendid project," said Town of North Hempstead Supervisor May Newburger. "It is actually the groundbreaking for a movement to make more affordable housing throughout the town of North Hempstead.
Supervisor Newburger and the town's Community Development Agency (CDA) have supported the project with the commitment of substantial start-up funds. So far, some $400,000 in grants has been awarded through both the Nassau County Housing and Intergovernmental Affairs' Home Fund, the New York State Housing Trust Program and the Low Income Housing Credit Program. In addition, a $1.75 million state grant was obtained by State Senator Michael Balboni (R, C - Mineola) in July 2000.
"The Apex Senior Citizens Housing project will create jobs, renew the community, contribute to the local tax base and most importantly, assist the elderly in keeping their homes and maintaining their independence," said Balboni in a previous Westbury Times article.
Rev. Mulryan, executive director of the Kimmel Foundation, said, "We care about the people who are in need of shelter and housing. There is a desperate need for people to do what is good, what is right. We need to remember the people who have worked so hard to make this happen."
Construction of the New Cassel facility is scheduled to be completed in late December 2002 and ready for occupancy in either February or March 2003. To qualify for residency in the Apex Senior Citizen's Housing, applicants must be at least 62 years of age and income eligible. Rents are based on family income. Although state and federal law establish eligibility, Apex's management company, Stanton Management Corporation, will be responsible for the application and eligibility process. For Apex, income-eligibility and rental information, call 486-1000.