Aeon, a leading nonprofit developer, has announced the grand opening of its first affordable housing development exclusively for senior residents in Chaska, Minn. on July 22, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Grand Opening event celebrates how The Landing apartments offer affordable housing for low-income senior residents while helping the City of Chaska fulfill its vision of redeveloping this property and enhancing the connection from downtown to the Minnesota River. Chaska Mayor Mark Windschitl and Harriet Tregoning, the Director of HUD's Office of Economic Resilience in Washington, D.C. will speak at the event. The Landing is Aeon's second development in Chaska.
Need for Affordable Senior Housing
The Landing includes similar architectural detailing that gives Chaska's historic downtown district its unique identity. Its 54 units were fully leased prior to the Grand Opening. Apartments are leased with specific eligibility standards. Residents can earn up to $29,050 per year and rent is established at 30 percent of renters' incomes. The Landing development was selected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2011 via the Section 202 program, which may have been the last federal funding for the Section 202 program. Since 1969, the Section 202 program has helped construct nearly 400,000 affordable senior apartment homes.
"The development of The Landing marks an important milestone for the City of Chaska and Aeon. This is our first affordable housing development exclusively for seniors. It creates a shared community space for the residents of Chaska while helping the city meet the growing need for affordable housing for seniors," explained Alan Arthur, Aeon's president and CEO. "Cities throughout the state of Minnesota desperately need more senior developments like The Landing and we are thankful for HUD's support and proud to have brought it to the City of Chaska."
Sustainable Features Create a Healthy Environment
The Landing meets the criteria and goals laid out in President Obama's Better Buildings Challenge for innovative energy solutions. It incorporates green, sustainable features and Passive House strategies at a moderate scale. Aeon, Minnesota Municipal Power Agency and Avant Energy partnered to fund a geothermal heating and cooling system to further enhance long-term sustainability.
Public Art Fosters Community
Aiding in the community aspect of The Landing is the installation of a unique sculpture created by local artist Sam Spiczka. The nine-foot tall sculpture was designed with weathering steel specifically for The Landing. The sculpture captures the calming motion of the river and natural landscape surrounding the apartments. It sits on the northwest corner of the site, now seen as the gateway to the city. This easily accessible space is created as a shared community asset.