Elderly Housing Projects in Schuylkill County

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One thing we have plenty of in northeastern and central Pennsylvania is old factory buildings that are no longer in use. One thing we don't necessarily have enough of is affordable housing for older people.

That has inspired a businessman in Schuylkill County.

Officials toured a former clothing manufacturing plant in Orwigsburg. Their plan is to turn it into an apartment building for the elderly. The owner of Barefield Development Corporation, Craig Shields, said he is ready to make the investment.

"This job in Orwigsburg, I would say it's about up to $6 million for about 20 to 25 units," said Shields.

The project is still in the planning stages, but officials said turning the former factory into housing for the elderly is the way to go, especially when it comes to location. Mike Lonergan the manager for Orwigsburg borough said it will mean easy access for senior citizens.

"Buildings like this in the middle of town are not viable for industrial purposes anymore because of the trucks getting in and out. This is a beautiful location, it's three blocks from the grocery store, three blocks from the library. It' s a block off the main street where all the businesses are," said Lonergan.

Barefield Development has a track record. It's in the process of turning a former clothing factory in Pottsville into more housing for the elderly. Neighbor Carol Davidson said she's all for the project.

"I think that`s great, and there is such a need for elderly housing in the area, so it's great, it's great!" said Davidson.

Shields predicts the construction in Pottsville should be complete by September of next year, and residents should be moved in before the end of 2013.