Old School Gets New Life as Affordable Housing

A former school in Cincinnati’s West End is getting a new chance at life. The old George E. Sands School will be renovated and redeveloped into affordable housing for seniors.

A century-old school building in Cincinnati’s West End is getting a new lease on life as affordable housing for seniors. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Indianapolis-based TWG Development L.L.C. is the developer of the $11.2 million project.

Located at 940 Poplar St., the four-story brick building was known as the George F. Sands School when it opened in 1912. In 1975, it became the Sands Montessori school, the nation’s first public Montessori elementary school. According to PropertyShark, its current market value is slightly less than $1.9 million.

TWG will create a mix of 67 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments for people age 55 and up, and will convert one of the school’s pools to a warm-water therapy pool, while preserving the building’s auditorium, hallways, windows and facade. The renovated building will be LEED-certified. Rents are expected to range from 30 to 60 percent of the area’s median income.

TWG Construction is the general contractor, and Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects is the project’s designer. Andrea Kent, development associate with TWG Development, told the Cincinnati Business Courier that her company is  negotiating the acquisition of the building, which will cost $150,000. Construction is expected to start in late March, and the apartments slated to be ready by March 2016.

The Cincinnati City Council recently approved a community reinvestment area LEED tax exemption agreement with TWG Development, authorizing a 12-year tax exemption for 100 percent of the value of the improvements to the property.