Vista opens to rave reviews

Port Orchard Vista, a 42-unit apartment building for low-income seniors, threw open its doors on Friday as finishing touches were completed and county and city officials turned out to celebrate what they said they believe is a job well done.

“We’re very proud to be here and show you the hard work of many people,” said Norm McLoughlin, executive director of the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority (KCCHA) in a brief speech during the grand opening celebration.

“Funding and buildings like this don’t just happen,” echoed Kitsap County Commissioner Chris Endresen, who also chairs KCCHA’s board of directors. “It takes a lot of partnerships.”

The building, located at 900 Mitchell Avenue in Port Orchard, is owned by Red Barn Associates Limited Partnership, but was made possible by its General Partner, KCCHA, to the tune of $5.6 million.

The project was funded by the Kitsap CDBG and HOME funds, the Washington State Housing Trust Fund, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, a loan from WestSound Bank and $3 million in equity from the Enterprise Social Investment Corporation.

Bank of America provided for the construction costs. Permanent financing for the property will be a mix of private, local, state and federal funds.

June 30 marked both the end of construction and the building’s debut to the public, allowing the building’s potential tenants to take tours and become familiar with the building’s three-story layout and activity rooms.

The building also features a combined living room and library, dining room, laundry room, trash chute and an underground parking garage.

A wrap-around porch, views and large windows help give the building a feel of sophistication. Dozens of seniors came from apartment buildings in Bremerton and Silverdale to “check it out.”

The building contains 40 one-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom apartments, as well as managerial space. Apartments are equipped with kitchens and full baths complete with built-in rails for safety and stability.

The KCCHA hopes to target 21 seniors with an annual income of no more than $13, 350, 11 seniors at $17,800 and 10 seniors at $26,700.

Rent is expected to be set on a varying scale between $180 and $595.

Attending the open house were Kitsap County Commissioners Chris Endresen and Jan Angel, who both spoke, as well as Commissioner Patty Lent. From the City of Port Orchard, Mayor Kim Abel and Councilmembers Carolyn Powers and Bob Geiger attended, with Abel and Powers speaking.

McLoughlin and KCCHA Development Director Julie Graves helped facilitate the event.

“It’s a good excitement,” Geiger said.

“I’m so proud of this and I’m so proud our seniors will be able to enjoy it,” Angel said.

According to Powers, the city acquired the property the in 1960s.

“Over the years, there’ve been many proposals to buy the property,” Powers said after recognizing fellow councilmember and senior housing advocate Geiger. “We were insistent that it be for seniors.”

The city became aware of the possibility of turning the property into a KCCHA affordable senior housing building after touring Madrona Manor, another such building. Seniors will begin moving in this week.

“I’m honored to be here today,” Powers said. “I can’t say enough good things about it.”

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