Greenhouse Village looks at building senior housing downtownWhenever Jeff Welle drives over the Highway 61 bridge in Hastings, he finds himself looking at an empty piece of land right along the river at the east end of downtown and thinking it would be the perfect spot for a senior housing cooperative.
By: Katrina Styx, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Whenever Jeff Welle drives over the Highway 61 bridge in Hastings, he finds himself looking at an empty piece of land right along the river at the east end of downtown and thinking it would be the perfect spot for a senior housing cooperative.
Welle is the housing manager at Greenhouse Village in Roseville as well as a developer for Greenhouse Village. The company is definitely interested in developing the block, Welle said, but needs to know the community would be willing to support it if they decide to go forward.
“We’re right at that point where we know the feasibility is good,” he said. “We know that the pent up demand is there. What we’re fishing for is, before we invest a ton of money in advertising, we want to see what the pulse is from the community.”
Greenhouse Village is a housing cooperative, meaning that the residents buy shares in the property rather than individual units. Because every resident is part owner, every resident gets a say in how the whole property is managed. A member board directs all operations, including any work done by a management company.
Welle said the Hastings location is ideal because it’s riverfront property and is within walking distance of downtown shops and restaurants.
“People don’t have to go far to get the services they need,” he said.
The biggest question about a Hastings housing cooperative is whether there are enough seniors here willing to sell their homes and move into the new development. Demand for new housing isn’t an issue, Welle said.
“The problem is, (seniors) are scared to death because of everything they’ve heard on the media that their house won’t sell,” he said.
Plans for senior housing here are still in the early stages. The developers don’t even have a drawing yet of what the building could look like, and Greenhouse Village hasn’t made any formal offers to the city to purchase the property. Anyone who might be interested in taking advantage of new housing would have about a year from the time they commit to the project till it’s ready to move into, during which they could get their own houses ready to sell, Welle said.
An informational meeting will be held at Hastings City Hall at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 22. The meeting will be a chance for potential residents to learn more about the cooperative as well as an opportunity for Greenhouse Village to gauge the level of interest in Hastings.
The Greenhouse Village cooperation in Roseville has been successful. The 102-unit building is sold out, Welle said. It opened in 2006 and usually sees one to three units become available each year.
More information about Greenhouse Village can be found online at www.green