Affordable Senior Living Historic Renovation Opens in Missouri

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorNeosho, Mo.—The historic renovation of the 15-unit Newton Place Apartments, an affordable independent living community for seniors 62 and older, is now complete.Developed by Terravest Development Corp. and designed by Rosemann & Associates PC, the four-story building is one of the tallest in the town. Newton Place Apartments is located in Neosho’s downtown square, near the town’s courthouse.Originally built in 1906, the building has served a number of purposes, including city hall, a dentist’s office, a bank, and a jail. Most recently, it was known as the Newton Hotel.The $2.8 million renovation of the project included gutting the building and restoring some of its historic elements. Much of the building’s woodwork, in addition to a center staircase, was restored, explains Suzanne Regier, LEED AP, project architect, Rosemann & Associates.Rosemann updated the building’s design by removing some of the 1970s additions and highlighting the exteriors with outdoor lighting and fabric awnings. In addition, the firm added an elevator to the building.Because of the building’s narrow footprint, one of the most difficult design challenges of the project, says Regier, was maximizing the natural light in the units. “We reopened all the window openings and replaced them with big historic windows, making it very bright and open.” She adds, “We lowered the partition walls, which allows light to come in and flood living spaces on the interior.” Newton Place Apartments offers one- and two-bedroom units, ranging in size from 487 to 892 sq. ft., and monthly rents range from $345 to $475. Building amenities include a first-floor community room and computer lab, as well as an outdoor patio living space.“It’s a very open living space on the town square, which allows [residents] to be social and interact with each other and with the community, instead of being isolated in the suburbs,” Regier tells MHN. “They can walk, and be in close proximity to, all the amenities they need.”The rehabilitation was financed through federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) provided by the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) and federal and state historic credits, as well as through conventional construction financing.