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Wesley Family Services to start $18.2M project in New Kensington

Updated: May 20, 2020

Tom Davidson| Tuesday, June 4, 2019 4:20 p.m.

Work is set to start this month on a long-awaited complex in New Kensington that will provide affordable housing and behavioral health services under one roof.

The Pioneer Apartments is being built by Wesley Family Services on a former parking lot between 10th and 11th streets and Fourth Avenue and Cherry Alley in the city. It will be a four story, 36-unit building that’s expected to cost $18.2 million.

The development was announced in April 2018 and was expected to start last year but was delayed to get the funding in place, said Stephen Christian-Michaels, chief strategy officer for Wesley Family Services.

“It’s a very complex deal,” Christian-Michaels said, as it is funded through tax credit programs, grants and loans.

“I’m glad everything came together so that they can break ground,” New Kensington Mayor Tom Guzzo said.

The project will be a boost to the city, will generate tax revenue and is a big investment in New Kensington.

“We’re really hoping it will be a boon all the way around,” Christian-Michaels said.

The first two floors of the building will be offices for Wesley’s behavioral health staff. The apartments will range from one to three bedrooms per unit and several will be designed for people with mobility issues and other special needs.

A big part of the project was being able to offer three-bedroom apartments, which aren’t readily available, and the hope is that Wesley can cater to clients by offering them affordable housing in the building, Christian-Michaels said.

There also will be laundry facilities, a community room with a kitchen, storage and an off-street parking lot.

Construction is expected to be completed and the building opened by July 2020.

Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, or via Twitter .

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