Affordable Living by ERS development updates: Delhi Township, Wilmington, and Blanchester

Affordable Living by ERS development updates: Delhi Township, Wilmington, and Blanchester

Affordable Living by ERS development updates: Delhi Township, Wilmington, and Blanchester

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Pedretti Place rendering

Affordable Living by ERS' Pedretti Place will be built on Cincinnati’s West Side.

Affordable Living by Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS) plans to start construction on Pedretti Place, which will be a 48-apartment campus in Delhi Township, in the spring of 2024, with completion in early 2025.

And in the Ohio communities of Wilmington and Blanchester, Affordable Living by ERS is making progress on renovations in communities for older adults.

There is a critical shortage of quality affordable apartments for low-income seniors across the country. ERS is providing comfortable and well-designed living options and supportive services which enrich the lives of older adults in these communities, said Jimmy Wilson, ERS vice president of affordable living.

Pedretti Place, on Cincinnati’s West Side

Pedretti Place, which will accommodate adults who are 55 and older, will have 42 single-bedroom apartments and six two-bedroom homes. Its estimated development cost is $15.1 million.

As with other Affordable Living by ERS communities, it will have a community room, computer center, community laundry, fitness and wellness area, and outdoor patio space, along with wellness programs and transportation to events and shopping.

It is designed to LEED silver standards and will have a large community room with a warming kitchen. Its fitness center will have equipment intended for older adults’ changing mobility needs, and there will be an outdoor gathering space. Six of its apartments will be fully accessible, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), with the rest able to be modified as residents’ mobility needs change over time.

Staff will provide activities for residents and connect them with services in the surrounding community.

Episcopal Retirement Services, which has served low-income older adults for more than 40 years, and operates 32 in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, will be the co-developer, owner, manager, and supportive services provider for the community. ERS also operates two Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) in Cincinnati’s Hyde Park neighborhood Deupree House and Marjorie P. Lee – and Episcopal Church Home in Louisville, Ky.

“We met with community leaders,” Wilson said. “They’re very excited, very supportive of the project, and we have all the support we need.”

The development is a positive for the Delhi area, said township Zoning Administrator Tony Roach, because it fills a need for people who want to continue living in the township.

Delhi area is fortunate to have a variety of housing growth happening now, including single-family homes, apartments, and ranch-style condominiums, bringing some new growth to Cincinnati’s West Side. Roach noted: “It’s the West Side. People come back to the West side. Well, they typically don’t leave, but if they do leave, they typically come back.”

What’s next?

“The drawings are complete” for Pedretti, Wilson said. ERS continues working to secure the final pieces of financing because construction bids were significantly higher than initial projections – a situation faced nationwide because of rising construction costs.

“We are submitting applications for funding and in conversation with a lot of community partners that fund projects like ours,” Wilson said.

So far, the project will be funded with permanent debt via a first mortgage from KeyBank; Hamilton County HOME funds; Federal Home Loan Bank AHP funds; Low-Income Tax Credit equity, and a General Partner Capital/Deferred Developer Fee.

Delhi Township’s zoning board recently conditionally approved the final Planned Unit Development plan, and public hearings showed a high level of public support for the project.

ERS’ development partner is Urban Sites, and ATA Bielharz Architects is the architecture firm.

Pedretti Place’s proximity to two other ERS communities – St. Pius Place and The Elberon – will allow staff to share time on all three campuses.

“Our long-term vision is to have our manager and other team members in those communities to give us good staff support and to build us a good portfolio on the west side of town,” Wilson said.

Work in Wilmington

AL by ERS plans major improvements on its Wilmington campus, and some are already finished.

An $8.17 million renovation to the 74-unit Prairie View Apartments that was completed in September of 2021 has created “a new community we’re really proud of,” Wilson said.

Because Prairie View was built in the 1970s under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) congregate dining program, which ceased to exist before ERS took over operations of the property, many units didn’t have full kitchens. All apartments received complete kitchens with full-sized appliances as part of the work done.

The apartments received new flooring, paint, appliances, lighting, and finishes. Features such as lever hardware, task lighting, walk-in showers, and non-slip flooring have made the apartments conducive to aging in place, and ADA apartments were upgraded to modern accessibility standards for maneuverability. Also, features such as low-flow water fixtures and high-efficiency appliances helped Prairie View meet Enterprise Green Community standards.

“Our long-term vision is to have our manager and other team members in those communities to give us good staff support and to build us a good portfolio on the west side of town,” Wilson said.


Renovations to Prairie Oaks Village began in 2020. Renovation of the Prairie View building was completed on 74 apartments, as well as the common spaces, in 2021.

More to come at Prairie Oaks Village in Wilmington

The next step at the Prairie Oaks Village campus in Wilmington is the demolition of the 80-unit Quaker Apartments, which was purchased along with the Friendly Center and Prairie View in 2016. Quaker will be demolished and replaced with 32 new apartments built in its place after the Prairie Gardens tax-credit transaction closes.

They will be 32 garden-home apartments – 30 of them one-bedroom, plus 2 two-bedroom apartments – and will be known as Prairie Gardens

When ERS took over the Quaker Apartments, they “were functionally obsolete,” Wilson said. “They needed substantive repairs, had lots of problems mechanically, lots of structural problems.”

In preparation for the transformation, apartments at Quaker have not been leased to new residents for the past two years to lessen the number of residents who will be relocated during construction. Residents will be offered the opportunity to relocate to Prairie Gardens when construction is complete.

Prairie Gardens will attain the market-rate quality that is typical of all AL by ERS communities, including such amenities as community spaces, fitness centers, and on-site staff to help residents with wellness, activities, and social services.

Why are Affordable Living by ERS communities
better than typical affordable housing.


Apartments will have helpful features to assist older adults in living independently and functioning well in their homes.

Also to be renovated are the ten apartments of Mulberry Place, which AL by ERS took control of in 2018. Mulberry was included in the Prairie Gardens project as part of a 2020 application to demolish Quaker and replace it. The combined cost for Prairie Gardens, including the Mulberry work, is to be $9.5 million.

Meanwhile, Friendly Center, which has 54 apartments, is the only property on the Wilmington campus that charges market-rate rents. It never received funding from the HUD that restricted the income or age of its residents. There are no immediate plans to renovate Friendly Center, but Wilson said he hopes substantial renovations will be made there in coming years.

Once construction is finished, “Wilmington will be a very beautiful, well-renovated campus for us,” Wilson said.

Funding partners and finance mechanisms in Wilmington include RiverHills Bank, Ohio Housing Trust Funds (allocated by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency), a General Partner loan, Federal Home Loan Bank, the Ohio Capital Impact Corporation, Ohio Capital Impact Corporation, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Equity, existing replacement reserves, a seller note, and deferred developer fees. The general contractor for Prairie Gardens, Prairie View, and both Westminster Court projects in Blanchester is Model Construction, and the architect is ATA Beilharz.


Renovation of Westminster Court I was completed on 64 apartments, as well as the common spaces, in 2022.

Moving forward in Blanchester

In Blanchester, AL by ERS finished, one apartment building, with plans soon to start the second of three on the campus.

“We just finished Westminster Court I (WCI), which we opened last year,” Wilson said. “It’s a newly renovated community, and we’re very excited about that.”

WCI has 64 single-bedroom units, and its tax-credit renovation cost $8.8 million. It was renovated to Enterprise Green Communities standards.  After its renovation, Westminster Court II (WCII) will meet National Green Building Standards. WCI units have walk-out patios. Both WCI and WCII will have communal coin laundry facilities. 

WCI has aging-in-place features such as lever hardware, walk-in showers, non-slip flooring, and task lighting. So will WCII, now known as Blanchester Friends Housing, which has 50 one-bedroom apartments and will undergo a substantial $8.3 million renovation.

At both WCI and WCII, as is typical at other AL by ERS communities, residents have access to the management staff, community room with kitchen, and fitness center, located in WCI.

“We’re hoping to break ground on that one (WCII) in the next 60 days,” Wilson said.

Esther Tuke, the third building on the Blanchester campus, has ten apartments. There are no immediate plans for its renovation.

Among funding sources and mechanisms for improvements in Blanchester are a HUD-insured first mortgage, General Partner capital, transferred replacement reserves, deferred developer fees, a Seller Note, and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity.

Continuing to meet a growing need

Through the Affordable Living by ERS initiative. We’re working with urban neighborhoods, rural suburbs, local governments, and carefully selected developer partners to renovate, refurbish or newly construct mixed-use, vibrant apartment communities for lower-income older people throughout our region.

“It’s our goal to create caring communities where older adults will live with dignity and can remain healthy and independent as long as possible,” Wilson said.

While we have extensive expertise and well-established partnerships to assist us in redeveloping these communities to be financially self-sustaining, there are gaps in funding needed to maintain and extend our mission of affordable housing for low-income seniors.

These needs include underwriting supportive services, well-being and enrichment programs, and some capital needs such as community space furnishings, fitness equipment, and safety and security installations.

To learn more about how to Affordable Living by ERS, please visit


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Kristin Davenport

Kristin Davenport

Kristin Davenport is the Director of Communications for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Kristin leads ERS’s efforts to share stories that delight and inspire through social media, online content, annual reports, magazines, newsletters, public re... Read More >

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