New senior housing in Pineville nears capacity

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Judging by the vacancy rate, Arbor Hill is filling every bit of the niche city of Pineville officials hoped it would. The senior apartment complex on Shamrock Street has leased 53 of its 56 units since opening earlier this year. A grand opening ceremony for the development was held Tuesday.

“It serves a great purpose and fills a great need for our senior citizens in Pineville,” said Mayor Clarence Fields. “You can see the need for it. It gives our seniors a community setting to live in where they can enjoy each other in a safe environment.”

Arbor Hill is the first Louisiana project for the Humanities Foundation, a nonprofit based in the Charleston, S.C., area that has been focused on developing affordable housing for two decades. In addition to the $6 million-plus Arbor Hill, Humanities Foundation has begun construction on a senior housing development in Baton Rouge.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on is our projects don’t look like what people think of as affordable housing,” said Tracy Doran, Humanities Foundation president.

Pineville was chosen largely by networking connections and word of mouth once Humanities Foundation decided to expand from its East Coast base, Doran said. She stressed the importance of community support in making the development work. Fields called the project “one of the smoothest we have had the opportunity to work on.”

In addition to filling a hole in the city’s housing portfolio, Pineville officials are hoping the presence of more residents on Shamrock Street will support local business and perhaps spur future development. The complex is near the city’s senior center, public library, a newly opened Dollar General and Louisiana Athletic Club.

“It’s just a great thing for the city of Pineville and in particular our senior population,” Fields said.