Housing authority plans new development

By Peter H. Milliken

Arlington Heights

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The City and YMHA is seeking a grant to demolish the remaining portion of West Lake Terrace.


REEN BUILDING: The Arlington Heights Recreation Center, 801 Park Ave., in the midst of the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority’s Arlington Heights housing community on the city’s North Side, has received a U.S. Green Building Council award for its energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and water-conserving plumbing fixtures. The center opened in January 2009.


GREEN AWARD: Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams, left, accepts the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Award from Clifford Scott, director of the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority. The presentation was Tuesday at the Arlington Heights Recreation Center, the building that won the award. The city owns and operates the recreation center.

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority is seeking funding to demolish the remaining 220 apartments in its Westlake Terrace Homes housing project and replace them with 120 mansion-style and townhouse apartments.

The housing authority hopes to fund the $22.5 million proposal, which would be built in two 60-unit phases over the next several years, with low-income housing tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, said Clifford Scott, YMHA director.

The new development would feature a clubhouse, two parking spaces adjacent to each residential unit, and a washer and dryer within each unit, Scott said. Mansion-style dwellings are designed with two or three residential units in each building, he said.

The 1940-vintage Westlake Terrace, which was dedicated by Eleanor Roosevelt, is YMHA’s oldest project and one of the oldest public-housing projects in the nation.

The proposed new community would be similar to the Arlington Hope VI neighborhood, which opened in the last several years and replaced part of Westlake.

“Westlake Terrace, as we once knew it, will no longer exist,” said Mayor Jay Williams. “We are going to now find ourselves with a complete new face on this part of the community,” he added.

The new community would be designed to be a mixed-income neighborhood, with low- and moderate-income residents, Scott said.

In January 2009, the Arlington Heights Recreation Center, 801 Park Ave., was the last part of the mixed-income Hope VI neighborhood to open.

For its energy-efficient heating and cooling system, the recreation center has received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Award, which Scott presented to the mayor in a Tuesday ceremony at the recreation center.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is an internationally recognized green- building certification system.

The LEED award was obtained for the 16,000-square-foot recreation center by the Pittsburgh office of Perkins Eastman, the international architectural and design firm that designed the recreation center. The city owns and operates the facility.

The center features high- efficiency insulated wall panels and water-conserving plumbing fixtures, among other things.

Large, south-facing windows in the gymnasium are positioned to take maximum advantage of natural light from the midday sun.

“The less we pay for the energy consumption to operate this building, the more money there is for programming,” the mayor said.

Construction waste was minimized, and 62 percent of that waste was recycled and kept out of landfills, said Mark O’Matz, a Perkins Eastman architect and project manager.

In a property viability study released last year, the EMG Group of Chicago recommended the authority demolish the remnants of Westlake Terrace.

The housing development has very small apartments and no off-street parking, Scott said.

Some 75 of the remaining Westlake units are empty, boarded up and in disrepair, and it would cost millions of dollars to rehabilitate them, Scott said. “They have too many problems for us to reasonably fix them,” he added.


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