Developer Jeff Long is planning yet another project near his Graystone Grande Palazzo seniors’ residence.
He is currently building a nine-story addition on Eighth Avenue to create 195 independent living units, as well as parking.
After that, Long intends to build a five-story, $5-6 million mixed-use structure on Seventh Avenue, with commercial space on the first floor and 72 apartments above, he said. Wednesday.
Residential rentals for the 60,000-square-foot building would be at market rates, though it’s unclear if they’ll be limited to tenants 55 and older, as is the case with its Graystone properties, a he declared.
He hopes to start work on this project next spring and take a year and a half to complete, he said.
He will build on property he recently purchased from the Durbin family, according to Long and Brian Durbin.
The Durbins had planned to build a 27-unit rental complex with townhouses and duplexes on the site, which is on the 2500 block of Seventh Avenue, but COVID-related supply chain issues and the Building cost inflation drove the family back, Durbin said.
“We can’t build something that we believe won’t perform at current economic numbers,” Durbin said, referring to likely rental income versus debt service on development loans.
“We probably could have hung on to it for a few more years,” Durbin said.
But long “needed it for his growth there,” the family therefore sold the property, Durbin said.
“We don’t want to slow down growth” Durbin said. “For us to sit down and be a roadblock wouldn’t make sense.”
Long’s immediate need was parking for workers building the Grand Palazzo addition, which Long plans to call Bella Casa, according to Durbin, Long and officials at an Altoona Planning Commission meeting this week. .
La Bella Casa is being built on a large parking lot where plenty of spaces were previously available but would not be during construction, Durbin said.
However, when the parking lot connected to Bella Casa is completed, the parking situation in this area will be secure, according to Long.
For the Durbins, supply chain issues and inflation have created the “perfect storm to try to build something this size,” Durbin said.
This created an unacceptable risk, he said.
Rising fuel costs mean rising costs for virtually all materials, and supply chain delays are further compounding the problem, according to Durbin.
The supply chain situation and high material costs have led to “a struggle” for Long too, said Long.
But “I have to keep my guys busy” he said. “I can not stop.”
Jeff Long Construction employs 35 people and works only on Long’s projects.
The Mirror’s staff writer, William Kibler, is at 814-949-7038.