First Senior Citizens Set to Move into Sentinel Plaza

July 28, 2012

By Teya Vitu

The first wave of senior citizens will start moving into the new Sentinel Plaza low-income senior housing complex on West Congress Street the week of July 31.

All 130 seniors should be moved out of the Armory Park Apartments and into the 143-unit Sentinel Plaza by the end of August, said Steven Greenbaum, president of Senior Housing Group, based in Chicago.

The move is ahead of schedule as Greenbaum has always talked about fall or September at the earliest.

“Everything came together quickly,” he said. “You always build in contingency days.”

Armory Park residents will be moved across Downtown in waves of 10 to 15 through August.

“I’m just thrilled, most of all, for the residents who will be moving from a 40-year-old apartment complex into an unbelievable nice place,” Greenbaum said.

The seniors mostly are leaving 412-square-foot studio apartments with no balconies at Armory Park, 211 S. Fifth Avenue, for Sentinel Plaza’s 675-square-foot one-bedroom apartments where all but those on the ground floor have balconies.

Greenbaum bought the Armory Park Apartments and its federal Section 8 low-income housing subsidies with the intention of building the new Sentinel Plaza and transferring the Section 8 status and extending the status until 2041. He also received a $2.85 million annual low-income housing tax credit from the Arizona Department of Housing that could ultimately be worth as much as $28.5 million over 10 years.

That would cover the estimated $25 million to $27 million in construction costs.

Inside a Sentinel Plaza apartment.

Resident rent payments are subsidized by a Section 8 housing assistance payments contract through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Senior Housing Group bought the land for $250,000 on May 13, 2011, from the city in a three-way escrow closing agreement involving the city and The Gadsden Company, which had the development agreement for that parcel and is developing the surrounding acreage.

Greenbaum has a contract to sell the Armory Park Apartments to an unnamed buyer with the sale expected to close by the end of September.