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Mixed-Income Apartments for Senior Coming to Downtown Silver Spring

Ground was broken Thursday for construction of The Bonifant at Silver Spring, a $44 million adult community for active seniors.

Ground was broken Thursday for construction of The Bonifant at Silver Spring, a $44 million adult community for active seniors. Credit: Bonifant website
Ground was broken Thursday for construction of The Bonifant at Silver Spring, a $44 million adult community for active seniors. Credit: Bonifant website

From a news release:

Construction will soon begin on an affordable housing development for independent senior citizens in downtown Silver Spring.

A ground-breaking ceremony was held Thursday for The Bonifant at Silver Spring, a $44 million development that will result in an 11-story mixed-income apartment building for active seniors aged 62+ built next door to the new Silver Spring Library and the planned Purple Line light rail station.

The green development project is a public-private partnership between Montgomery Housing Partnership, a private, nonprofit housing developer; The Donohoe Companies; and Montgomery County. Developers held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday at the site near the corner of Bonifant and Fenton Streets.

The Bonifant at Silver Spring will provide 149 mixed-income apartments for active seniors seeking independent living, and will also have 6,300 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. The residential building will have 10 studios, 119 one-bedrooms, and 20 two-bedrooms. Rents will be affordable for incomes between 30–60 percent of the area median income, and will also include apartment homes with no income restrictions.

Some of the green features and amenities designed with active seniors in mind will include:

  • Secure access controlled entry.
  • A multi-purpose community room and fitness room with equipment, a living room, a cyber café with computers, and an outdoor terrace with green space.
  • Individual heating and cooling units that are locally controlled, and full-size washers/dryers.
  • Kitchens with modern energy-efficient lighting, dishwashers, and electric ranges; spacious closets.
  • Bathrooms that connect to both the living room and bedroom, and include walk-in showers in over half of the units; grab bars in the shower, tub and toilet areas in all units.

The development highlights a continuing push by Montgomery County to identify areas where county-owned land can be used to build new housing options that are affordable to more of its residents. In fact, The Bonifant will be the first residential property built alongside a public-use facility.

“The Bonifant at Silver Spring will fill a critical need for affordable housing for a growing number of seniors in Montgomery County,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “This project exemplifies how government and the private sector can work together towards a worthwhile goal of creating more affordable senior housing.”

Housing prices in the county are rising rapidly and many lower income seniors are left with few housing options. Trends show that some older adults have no choice but to leave their homes and relocate to more affordable, but remote, areas of the county or out of the county, far away from their support networks. The estimated median income for renters age 62+ in Montgomery County is $47,322, far below the county average of $96,985; 24 percent of this subgroup earns less than $25,000 annually.

The Bonifant at Silver Spring is a joint venture of MHP and The Donohoe Companies, a for-profit private corporation with high-rise and mixed-use development, construction, and real estate experience. The team was awarded the right to develop this project after bidding on the project in 2010.

The complex is expected to be completed by January 2016. The development partners include: Donohoe Construction, VOA Associates, and Humphrey Management.

Financing for the $44 million project will be provided through a mix of public-private sources, including Montgomery County Department of Housing & Community Affairs, State of Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development, Capital One, Wells Fargo, and Enterprise Community Investments. More information on the property can be found at http://TheBonifant.com.

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