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Reading senior housing project gets conditional approval

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Rendering of the proposed Barley Square apartments in Reading (Submitted)
Rendering of the proposed Barley Square apartments in Reading (Submitted)

An Ohio-based developer is looking to move ahead with plans to build a 4-story apartment building for seniors near Reading Area Community College after receiving conditional approval from Reading city planners.

Some other approvals are still needed before The Woda Cooper Companies can begin construction on Barley Square, which is planned for the corner of Chestnut and Second Streets in Reading on a site that previously housed a tannery. It is designed to be affordable housing.

The $12 million project was funded in part by a combination of tax credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Financing Authority and other state and county support. It will be for people 62 and over with rents designed to be in reach of people with annual incomes of between $10,000 and $25,000.

The apartment building will have 57 rental units: 45 one-bedroom units at 750 square feet each, and a dozen two-bedroom units at 1000 square feet each.

All apartments will have a full kitchen and full bath. There will be two shared laundry rooms in the building and two elevators.

Other features include a community room with kitchen, an exercise room, a grandchild room and a computer lab.

The building was designed by Architectural Concepts of Exton. Civil engineer is McCarthy Engineering of Wyomissing and construction will be managed by Woda Construction.

Andy Cohen, senior vice president of development for Woda Cooper, said the company is 25 years old and has been operating in Pennsylvania for about 10 years.

It currently has 19 properties in the state either completed or under development, making up over $166 million worth of real estate.

Pending needed approvals, Cohen said the company hopes to break ground on the Reading project by June with construction completed by the end of May 2020.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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