ALPENA — Medical doctors, academics, attorneys, and different professionals nearing retirement and desirous to downsize might wrestle to discover a place to stay regionally, an area investor thinks.
Dr. David Dargis, an Alpena doctor who additionally visits sufferers in northern Michigan nursing houses, stated his sufferers typically depart his workplace en path to houses they will’t navigate as a result of they should use a wheelchair or have another bodily limitation.
Dargis final week acquired permission from Alpena Public Faculties officers to buy the previous ACES Academy constructing on Pinecrest Road in Alpena.
He intends to make use of the constructing to create wheelchair-accessible flats that don’t require residents to fall beneath an earnings cap.
Whereas even the realm’s income-restricted housing is in brief provide, Alpena has fewer choices nonetheless for individuals who don’t qualify for income-restricted housing and who need to keep native as they search for a smaller and safer place to stay, Dargis stated.
Seniors, disabled veterans, or different individuals already utilizing a wheelchair or different strolling assist – or who might need to take action if confronted by an sudden well being drawback or surgical procedure – want a protected place to stay, he stated.
His mother, at 89, does OK in her multi-storied dwelling, however he’d prefer to know she has the choice of a single-level place to stay that will match her wants if she chooses to maneuver.
“We wouldn’t fear about Mother falling down the steps as a result of there aren’t any stairs,” Dargis stated.
Lengthy-time residents nonetheless dwelling in massive houses wherein they raised their youngsters, now not in a position to mow the garden and shovel the driveway, could possibly safe one other home or a two-story duplex, however the condominium dwelling possibility many need and wish is scant, he stated.
The Alpena space affords some one-level leases, “however they’re just about full, they usually go quick,” Dargis stated.
Having simply obtained the OK to purchase the ACES constructing, Dargis has not but created a design for alterations to the constructing.
Ought to his hope to make use of the constructing for senior and wheelchair-accessible dwelling not go as deliberate, Dargis intends to search out one other location to create such housing, motivated partially by the sufferers he sends out the door undecided how they’ll stay of their houses.
Proposed senior-living housing projected to enter one other constructing owned by Dargis, the previous Bingham Arts Academy constructing, has stalled however should occur, however that will most likely be income-restricted housing, Dargis stated.
The county’s general inhabitants is lowering, however census information says the share of older adults within the county is rising, stated Mary Catherine Hannah, Alpena County administrator.
Any addition of housing for older residents can be welcome, particularly housing that makes it simpler to fulfill these adults’ wants – from grocery help to strolling a canine to delivering a meal – and that gives built-in companionship of close by neighbors, Hannah stated.
Present excessive building prices make including new housing of any variety a problem, she stated.
Not a lot of the sort of housing Dargis plans exists in Alpena County, and “definitely not sufficient, primarily based on our present demand and what we venture because the demand going ahead for Alpena County,” Hannah stated. “That I can completely say.”