Medley Centre: Senior housing proposed in former Sears – Democrat & Chronicle – August 14, 2018

Medley Centre: Senior housing proposed in former Sears

by: Sarah Taddeo

PathStone Corp. is proposing to bring approximately 150 senior apartments to the Sears site at the former Medley Centre mall in a bid to meet the burgeoning need for senior housing in the Irondequoit area.

The project, which will enter Irondequoit’s town development process later this summer, is in its early development and design stages. The preliminary plans for the 7-acre parcel include:

  • A two-story building with several courtyards, which will contain approximately 70 units, is proposed for the former Sears site. It will be connected to the existing mall structure via secure doors. Most of the units will be one-bedroom, with several two-bedroom apartments.
  • A five-story building, containing approximately 80 units, will be built to the east of the first building and connected via a skyway. Four stories will contain housing, while the first floor would be covered parking.
  • The project would have 155 parking spots.
  • A community space for the buildings’ residents to have meetings, meals or other activities is proposed.
  • PathStone is identifying services that could be integrated with the development to allow “frail elderly” to stay independent in the apartments as long as possible, said Amy Casciani, senior vice president for real estate development at PathStone.
  • The agency is working to obtain state funding and tax credits for the project, said Casciani.

This proposal is well-suited for this specific parcel in that it revitalizes a portion of the former mall while providing for Irondequoit’s legacy population, Casciani said.

“There’s a lot of vacant malls all over upstate New York and all over the country, and there’s a huge need for affordable housing,” said Casciani. “This would be a great way to introduce affordable housing in communities that desperately need it, but don’t have enough space for new construction.”

As an Irondequoit native, she remembers seniors using the mall as a community and exercise space, she said. With new development on the horizon there, including the town’s community center, the area could soon become a hub for senior living again.

PathStone manages another affordable housing location in Irondequoit — Hobie Creek Apartments on Brower Road — and it has a lengthy waiting list for units, she said.

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Top 5 hot areas in Rochester area: Webster, Greece and unexpected spots – Democrat & Chronicle

Top 5 hot areas in Rochester area: Webster, Greece and unexpected spots

by: Mary Chao

Real estate is ever changing as tastes evolve. Large McMansions that were trending 20 years ago are now being passed over in favor of smaller homes in walkable neighborhoods. Once not so hot areas become popular when buyers get priced out of the trendy areas.

What’s hot when it comes to real estate in the region? Here are the top five areas in Monroe County tracked with help from the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors and area real estate professionals.

1. Churchville/Riga

The village of Churchville in the western town of Riga is No. 1 when it comes to median home-price increase in 2017, according to the Realtors’ group. The median sale price shot up 38.8 percent from $125,000 to $173,500. The percentage of sales increased as well, up 3.4 percent in 2017. It was one of only three suburban towns in Monroe County to see an increase in sales in 2017.

Churchville is a walkable village with small locally owned businesses such as Anastasia’s Spotlight DanceThe Johnson House for steaks and Slice Pizza. Riga has a rural feel with homes on large lots.

John and Bonnie Loser built their 3,000-square-foot home in Riga on 90 acres in 2001. They were attracted to the low cost of land and low taxes. Plus it’s a place with personalized service. “When I go to Town Hall, they know my name,” John Loser said.

2. North Winton Village

When it comes to real estate in the city, there’s no hotter area than North Winton Village. Millennials like the walkable lifestyle close to dining and shopping. Stop by Winfield Grill for a drink and a snack or visit the Winton Branch Library for some downtime.

North Winton Village features a variety of older homes with tree-lined streets and sidewalks. Shopping local is a mantra in the neighborhood with Mayer Paint and Hardware and Fahsye gift shop nearby.

Homes that do go up for sale in the area typically receive multiple offers, Realtors say.

3. Greece

The largest suburb in Monroe County with over 90,000 residents, Greece is seeing an uptick in home sales and prices. The median sale price in Greece was up 6.4 percent in 2017 from $117,500 to $125,000 and sales increased 3.4 percent for the year.

The town is diverse in its array of housing options, from new builds to older subdivisions in the Dewey/Stone area. It also provides different lifestyle options with older neighborhoods being walkable and the larger subdivision tracts featuring homes with all the bells and whistles. There is plenty of shopping and dining from the small mom and pop pizza shops to the Mall at Greece Ridge.

4. Webster and Webster Village

Webster — “Where life is worth living,” as the town’s motto states — is on the eastern end of Monroe County off Lake Ontario. The area has seen much development, yet it retains its local charm with a village filled with local stores and eateries.

Home sales were up 6.5 percent in 2017 in Webster and the median price increased 6.3 percent from $182,500 to $194,000.

Brian Hegedorn’s family has been in the Webster area since the 1850s when it was largely farmland, and he continues to live in Webster with his partner and their son.

“I’ve traveled all over the country. Webster is and always will be home,” he said.

More: Rochester housing market: Median home prices and other data for 5 east-side suburbs

5. 19th Ward

Urban by Choice is the motto of this city neighborhood on the west side of the Genesee River. It is one of the city’s largest neighborhoods, with boundaries north to Chili Avenue, east to the Genesee River, west to Interstate 390 and south to Scottsville Road. The area is home to Genesee Valley Park. There are many housing options in the area from cottages to mansions. It has become a popular area for people who enjoy city living, as well as among developers who are fixing up dilapidated homes to resell or for rental.

The walkable neighborhood is filled with distinctive, locally owned shops and friendly eateries such as The Arnett Cafe and Livie’s Jamaican Restaurant.

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Rochester’s poverty talk has to include evictions –

Rochester’s poverty talk has to include evictions

by: Jake Clapp

Matthew Desmond gets straight to the point in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Evicted.” “We have failed to fully appreciate how deeply housing is implicated in the creation of poverty,” he writes in the book’s prologue. “Not everyone living in a distressed neighborhood is associated with gang members, parole officers, employers, social workers, or pastors. But nearly all of them have a landlord.”

In the book, Desmond, a professor of sociology at Princeton University, profiles eight families in Milwaukee, following their struggles with finding, and keeping, housing. To do this, in 2008, he first moved into a trailer park and then into a rooming house and took a full-time job as a fieldworker. Desmond — who’ll be in Rochester May 9 for a sold-out lecture hosted by PathStone — paints a deep picture of how eviction leads to poverty, and how that cycle keeps people trapped.

Last year, Desmond and a team of researchers at Princeton started The Eviction Lab, a database collecting eviction data, the first of its kind in the country. To date, 83 million records from 48 states and the District of Columbia have been added. The lab wants to make the data accessible to the public, and there are easy-to-use tools that allow you to look at local eviction rates, demographic information, and make comparisons with other municipalities.

The Eviction Lab doesn’t yet have data on Rochester, but New York State reported 38,055 evictions in 2016. And according to Rochester City Court information, there were 3,510 evictions in Rochester in 2017.

In reality, the number of evictions in Rochester is probably higher, says Susan Boss, executive director of the Housing Council at PathStone, since that number reflects only evictions that went through the court process. The only legal way for a landlord to evict a tenant is through a court process, but techniques like changing the locks, removing furniture, or even just threatening court action are often used to get people to move.

The Housing Council, which runs a hotline for housing issues, received 1,167 calls in 2017 related to eviction, from tenants and landlords regarding everything from threats of eviction to what a family can do once it’s been evicted.

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The Hotel Cadillac is shutting down. What will happen to its tenants? – Democrat & Chronicle

The Hotel Cadillac is shutting down. What will happen to its tenants?

by: David Andreatta

For year-round residents of the Hotel Cadillac, the first shoe dropped somewhere along the way. It fell to homelessness, unemployment, drugs, or whatever form of desperation prodded them to settle in Rochester’s most resilient and infamous boardinghouse.

“You fall back on the easiest place,” Martin Doty, 56, who’s lived in the hotel on and off for eight years, explained between drags on a cigarette. “For a lot of people here, this was the easiest place.”

The other shoe dropped Wednesday, when residents learned from management they have 30 days to get out.

After 91 years of accommodating guests at the corner of Chestnut and Elm streets, from trendsetters and tourists in its early years to the tenants living on the margins of society today, the hotel is scheduled to close on May 25.

Where they’ll live is now a question on the minds of many of the more than 20 people who call the Cadillac home.

“There are people been here 20 years and more, don’t know what to do,” said Ronnie Klebes, 77, who’s lived in the hotel for eight years.

A spokeswoman for DHD Ventures, the development company that bought the Cadillac last year, said the building will remain a hotel. Whether it will retain its name and cater to the same clientele, she couldn’t say.

But Cadillac residents knew the answer. Over the last couple years, they’ve watched DHD Ventures transform a decrepit brick office building behind the hotel into glass-paneled luxury apartments that rent for up to $3,300 a month.

“No way in hell is it going to be for low-income,” Doty said. “They want to attract rich people downtown.”

‘This place is hell!’

We spoke outside the Cadillac after I had checked into a room and felt I’d been robbed. My room, number 705, cost $58.90 — $49 a night, plus $9.90 tax.

For that price, I got two beds with bedbugs, a broken television and a microwave encrusted with brownish-yellow crud and leftover bacon. The windows were painted white.

When I turned on the light, a mouse tumbled out of the busted air-conditioning unit and scurried under a bed. His turds were in every corner of the linoleum-tiled room.

In the bathroom, the window wouldn’t close and the faucets leaked. Scrawled into the plaster was the word “HELP.”

I was followed to my room by a woman named Caroline Johnson, who goes by “Rosie.” She wanted to party. She lit up a cigar in the elevator and said, “There’s a liquor store down the street.”

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In 83 Million Eviction Records, a Sweeping and Intimate New Look at Housing in America

In 83 Million Eviction Records, a Sweeping and Intimate New Look at Housing in America

by: Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui

RICHMOND, Va. – Before the first hearings on the morning docket, the line starts to clog the lobby of the John Marshall Courthouse. No cellphones are allowed inside, but many of the people who’ve been summoned don’t learn that until they arrive. “Put it in your car,” the sheriff’s deputies suggest at the metal detector. That advice is no help to renters who have come by bus. To make it inside, some tuck their phones in the bushes nearby.

This courthouse handles every eviction in Richmond, a city with one of the highest eviction rates in the country, according to new data covering dozens of states and compiled by a team led by the Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond.

Two years ago, Mr. Desmond turned eviction into a national topic of conversation with “Evicted,” a book that chronicled how poor families who lost their homes in Milwaukee sank ever deeper into poverty. It became a favorite among civic groups and on college campuses, some here in Richmond. Bill Gates and former President Obama named it among the best books they had read in 2017, and it was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

But for all the attention the problem began to draw, even Mr. Desmond could not say how widespread it was. Surveys of renters have tried to gauge displacement, but there is no government data tracking all eviction cases in America. Now that Mr. Desmond has been mining court records across the country to build a database of millions of evictions, it’s clear even in his incomplete national picture that they are more rampant in many places than what he saw in Milwaukee.

Mr. Desmond’s team found records for nearly 900,000 eviction judgments in 2016, meaning landlords were given the legal right to remove at least one in 50 renter households in the communities covered by this data. That figure was one in 25 in Milwaukee and one in nine in Richmond. And one in five renter households in Richmond were threatened with eviction in 2016. Their landlords began legal proceedings, even if those cases didn’t end with a lasting mark on a tenant’s record.

For landlords, these numbers represent a financial drain of unpaid rent; for tenants, a looming risk of losing their homes.

In Richmond, most of those evicted never made it to a courtroom. They didn’t appear because the process seemed inscrutable, or because they didn’t have lawyers to navigate it, or because they believed there is not much to say when you simply don’t have the money. The median amount owed was $686.

Inside the courtroom, cases sometimes brought in bulk by property managers are settled in minutes when defendants aren’t present.

“The whole system works on default judgments and people not showing up,” said Martin Wegbreit, director of litigation at the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society. “Imagine if every person asked for a trial. The system would bog down in a couple of months.”

The consequences of what happens here then spread across the city. The Richmond public school system reroutes buses to follow children from apartments to homeless shelters to pay-by-the-week motels. City social workers coach residents on how to fill out job applications when they have no answer for the address line. Families lose their food stamps and Medicaid benefits when they lose the permanent addresses where renewal notices are sent.

“An eviction isn’t one problem,” said Amy Woolard, a lawyer and the policy coordinator at the Legal Aid Justice Center in town. “It’s like 12 problems.”

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Well-priced ranch homes are hot in Rochester-area’s real estate market –

Well-priced ranch homes are hot in Rochester-area’s real estate market

by: Mary Chao

For the past 30 years, Carla Palumbo enjoyed city living in the Lyell-Otis neighborhood in her two-story home on Glide Street. The diverse neighborhood is close to downtown and near amenities, such as Olindo’s Cash and Carry, where she would stock up on imported foods from Italy.

Palumbo, 60, decided a few years ago that the time had come to look into moving into one-story living. She began working in earnest with her Realtor, Carm Lonardo of ReMax Realty Group, last fall to search for that perfect ranch home with the criteria that it should be in a location close to downtown, where she works as CEO of the Legal Aid Society, and should not exceed $170,000.

After getting beat out on two deals, Palumbo was able to snare a buy on her perfect ranch home in Greece on Heritage Drive with an asking price of $139,900 for 1,316 square feet of living space. She moved quickly with Lonardo to write an offer and just closed on the deal last week.

Smaller existing single-family ranch homes that are in updated condition and priced well are in high demand in the current market as people seek easy-to-care-for homes, Lonardo said.

“They’re very popular and go quickly,” Lonardo said.

Ranch homes are especially popular with the baby boomer generation looking to downsize, Lonardo added.

Palumbo’s home in Greece was built in 1963 and features refinished hardwood flooring. The living room features a curved wall — a 1960s retro touch.

There is also a formal dining room and a family room that’s adjacent to the kitchen. The entire kitchen area has been remodeled with granite counters, an island with seating, a subway-tiled backsplash and all new stainless appliances.

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City threatens to take control of ignored apartment buildings –

City threatens to take control of ignored apartment buildings

by: Jake Clapp

Peter Hungerford is starting to become a well-known name to people who follow housing issues in Rochester. Hungerford owns several buildings where tenants say that they have been living in bad, unaddressed conditions, like sewage backing up in their apartments, mold, and electrical problems.

Last month, tenants at 447 Thurston Road started a rent strike. And on Monday, renters at 967 Chili Avenue, some of whom are joining the rent strike, held a small rally to highlight their own building’s problems, including a ceiling falling apart in the building’s entrance way, reports of infestation, and broken windows. The 15-unit building currently has 15 outstanding code violations.

Those actions have gotten the City of Rochester’s attention. The city has threatened to take five of Hungerford’s buildings into receivership if past-due violations aren’t addressed. Through receivership, the city or a third party would take control of the building, collect rent from tenants, and get repairs made in the building. Hungerford was given an April 1 deadline.

“What we’ve seen is that when tenants have gone public in other buildings, the city has responded,” said Ryan Acuff, an organizer with the City-Wide Tenant Union. “And through that, the landlord is taking certain things more seriously.”

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In Flint, Mich., there’s so much lead in children’s blood that a state of emergency is declared –

In Flint, Mich., there’s so much lead in children’s blood that a state of emergency is declared

by: Yanan Wang

For months, worried parents in Flint, Mich., arrived at their pediatricians’ offices in droves. Holding a toddler by the hand or an infant in their arms, they all have the same question: Are their children being poisoned?

To find out, all it takes is a prick of the finger, a small letting of blood. If tests come back positive, the potentially severe consequences are far more difficult to discern.

That’s how lead works. It leaves its mark quietly, with a virtually invisible trail. But years later, when a child shows signs of a learning disability or behavioral issues, lead’s prior presence in the bloodstream suddenly becomes inescapable.

According to the World Health Organization, “lead affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioral effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.”

The Hurley Medical Center, in Flint, released a study in September that confirmed what many Flint parents had feared for over a year: The proportion of infants and children with above-average levels of lead in their blood has nearly doubled since the city switched from the Detroit water system to using the Flint River as its water source, in 2014.

The crisis reached a nadir Monday night, when Flint Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency.

“The City of Flint has experienced a Manmade disaster,” Weaver said in a declaratory statement.

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These are the ways student loans stop people from buying a house –

These are the ways student loans stop people from buying a house

  • Eighty-three percent of people ages 22 to 35 with student debt who haven’t bought a house yet blame their educational loans.
  • Owning a home, the most common way Americans build wealth, can become a distant dream for many crushed by student debt.

by: Annie Nova

In the late 1990s, Ed McKinley fell in love with a $65,000 house by a lake in New Hampshire.

The owners let him move in early and pay rent until the buying process was completed.

Inside his new home, McKinley installed a modern stove, painted the walls and began to redo the floors.

Then came the bad news.

“The mortgage company decided that my income-to-debt ratio was a little bit higher than they were comfortable with,” McKinley, 59, said.

They were referring to his $34,000 in federal student loan debt.

He had to pack up and leave.

“It’s crushing,” McKinley said, choking up. “I have a very strong desire to own a piece of land that I can put my signature on.”

RRH, UR bring health care to the homeless –

RRH, UR bring health care to the homeless

by: Gino Fanelli

When the term medical innovation is brought up, it conjures images of groundbreaking medical technology, cures for illnesses through extensive experimentation and, ultimately, a benefit for all of humankind.

But in a place like Rochester, which has access to some of the highest level of care in the nation, there is a third kind of innovation: finding a way to bring that care to the people who need it the most and are too often left out of the system.

That’s exactly what Rochester Regional Health and the University of Rochester are doing; RRH through its Mobile Medical units, and UR via its Street Medicine program.

They’re two very different forms of outreach. RRH puts a dental practice and primary care practice on wheels—a modified van traveling to key areas to offer care. No payment, no insurance, no questions asked. UR’s Street Medicine Team is made up of medical students popping up at shelters three times a week.

On a frigid February afternoon, the RRH dental unit parks itself on the street outside a north side Volunteers of America Shelter. It’s a modest setup; a single dental chair situated in the back portion of the van and the mid-portion converted to a sort of waiting room. Put into commission in 2011, it’s the second medical unit since the program’s inception in 1998 and a move up from a rundown truck used in the early days of the program.

“Our philosophy with this program has always been to bring care to the homeless, rather than have them come to us,” said Carlos Swanger, medical director for the Mobile Medical unit and a 20-year veteran of program. “We do go to some shelters directly, without the unit. It’s sometimes easier that way. You have more space inside to provide care. But sometimes we don’t have that access, we don’t have that space, and that’s where the mobile unit comes in.”

There’s no payment required to access the van. No need to call ahead, no need for insurance, just come in and you’ll be treated. But that part can be tricky. Many homeless, as both teams are quick to point out, are inherently fearful of the medical system.

“I have one patient who comes to the door every time, and he’ll just say ‘hello,’” said April Taylor, dental assistant. “I keep wanting him to come on the bus, and I keep wanting him to come inside, but he just comes back and says hello. That’s my goal now, to get him on the bus and get him dental.”

The sentiment is echoed by the URMC students. They are even less equipped, and do not have the means to provide direct medical care. They can take looks, make suggestions and coordinate access to care. But they are also tasked with a sometimes insurmountable job; to break the barrier between the homeless and medical care. Armed with the most basic of medical supplies and a van whose every key turn is a roll of the dice, the fully donation-supported team heads to House of Mercy on a snowy Wednesday evening. Their goal, first and foremost, is to talk.

“We’re there mostly to interact, to be a friendly face,” said Michael Healey, a second year medical student and student director of the program. “We can bring a flu shot, and look to see if there’s something wrong, but mostly, we just try to talk.”

It’s a difficult issue, as volunteer and second-year medical student Stephen Hassig was quick to explain.

RRH, UR bring health care to the homeless