ABERDEEN – In recent weeks, local business owner Dwight Stevens has purchased properties throughout town to achieve the common goal of developing them into senior living apartments. He discussed more specific details of the project with the Aberdeen Planning and Zoning Commission Aug. 5.
The space formerly occupied by Ashley’s Children’s Boutique alongside Commerce Street and two historical homes alongside Meridian Street, The Tennery and Rosemont Manor, are among the properties purchased. With Rosemont Manor, which is the first one expected to be renovated, Stevens plans to turn it into five senior living apartments for those 60 years and older.
“They say on our sign when you drive into Aberdeen ‘A retirement community,’ and I think we really should be doing that because we sit around and wait for some big plant to move in. It’d be wonderful if it would happen, and this is a way of doing this and people staying in Aberdeen. They’re going to go downtown and buy. They’re going to be spending money in Aberdeen,” Stevens said.
Planning and zoning commission chairman Jim Edwards said the homes are already zoned to allow for boarding houses, which falls into the category to allow for the apartments.
The projects don’t have a completion date, but work is currently underway for exterior improvements ahead of wintertime.
With the building alongside Commerce Street, Stevens wants to renovate it into three apartments and change the facade and window displays to make the front look like a downtown shop.
“There are two main reasons why we asked you here. Number one is to protect the property owners around you to make sure their property values don’t suffer because of something new coming in and to protect the tenants,” Edwards said.
He also suggested for Aberdeen Fire Chief Fred Hodges to tour the homes to make safety recommendations such as smoke alarm placement.