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Over the past three years, Maryvale East Associates has created 185 apartments specifically for income-qualified senior citizens.

The partnership of Stuart Alexander, James F. Allen and Richard J. Lippes purchased the vacant Maryvale East Elementary School and the nine acres of land on which it is located in 1986.

Over the next two years the three developers converted 55,000 square feet of the school space into 81 apartments -- specifically for senior citizens.

The Town of Cheektowaga was very supportive of the project and assisted in the rezoning of the site as a special "Senior Citizen Zoning" classification. The town's zoning ordinance permits a different apartment size and parking requirements which more closely reflects the lifestyles of the seniors, according to Alexander.

Today, the developers are building 104 new apartment units on the land adjacent to the rehabilitated building. Any senior citizen who is income eligible has the right to apply for one of the new apartments.

To be eligible, a senior's income cannot exceed 60 percent of the area's median income for a family size of one; for a couple, a two-person household is used. In Western New York, the developers indicated that the annual income cannot exceed $14,110 for a single person and cannot be more than $16,128 for a couple.

Rents for the apartments are controlled by federal government guidelines and all units will rent for $378 per month. The rent includes heat, electricity, water; each unit features a stove, refrigerator, carpeting and cable TV.

"The new building will provide amenities based on the desires and needs shown by tenants in the first complex," Alexander said. Two enclosed courtyards will allow for specialized recreation facilities: picnic tables, grills for cookouts, game tables and shuffleboard courts.

Lippes added, "At the beginning of our senior citizen housing experience, we believed that we could provide safe and decent housing; I think we have done that and if we can, in the future, we are going to build more."

To oversee the 185 total units, the developers have established their own management company which employs maintenance personnel, a van driver, senior services coordinator and secretarial staff.

Located on Moorman Drive, just off Dick Road, the new 104-unit complex will be ready for occupancy in early July and a waiting list for prospective tenants is being formed.

For more information, call Richard Allen or Carol Zander at 681-5061.

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