Dogwood Terrace — an affordable senior apartment complex at 1178 Martha Place in Franklin Square — is getting a much-needed facelift.
The Town of Hempstead Housing Authority plans to modernize the low-cost housing development, comprising 104 units accommodating town residents who are 55 years and older. The existing two-story building sits behind the Stop & Shop on Franklin Avenue.
“The senior housing at Dogwood Terrace has reached the point where repairs are not enough, and instead a completely new building must be constructed,” Town of Hempstead officials said in a statement. “The new building is an upgrade in more ways than one.”
Construction is slated to begin later this year and could take up to 18 months to complete, officials said. The complex would retain 104 units, but the studio apartments would be converted into one-bedroom apartments, with each unit being enlarged from about 100 to 677 square feet. To avoid flooding from the small creek nearby, the entire building would be raised, town officials added.
In addition, elevators would be installed to improve accessibility, and parking on the property would be doubled from roughly 50 to 88 spots. The site’s senior recreational center — which hosts activities such as shuffleboard, physical fitness classes and holiday-themed parties — would also undergo renovations.
During construction, those who live at the facility could move to another senior center of their choice or live with family members while they wait for the project to be completed. Tenants would not be responsible for moving expenses and labor, since housing authority officials said they would take care of all that.
Several elected officials and community leaders in Franklin Square said they support the reconstruction and agreed that Dogwood Terrace is outdated. However, community reactions have been mixed — with some saying they weren’t even aware an affordable senior housing complex existed in Franklin Square.
The project was scheduled for discussion at a town board of appeals public meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 9:30 a.m. at Old Town Hall, 350 Front St., in room 230.
“The senior housing at Dogwood Terrace in Franklin Square was past repair and needed to be replaced,” Councilwoman Melissa Miller said. “I’m proud that we will be able to completely upgrade the facility with larger apartments, more parking and elevators. I look forward to getting shovels in the ground later this year.”
According to its website, the town’s housing authority owns and operates 1,309 apartments at 14 separate locations throughout the Town of Hempstead, stretching from the Queens border to the Town of Oyster Bay. Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin said local elected officials remain committed to providing affordable senior housing on Long Island and to making these necessary improvements to Dogwood Terrace.
After the redevelopment is completed, tenants were told they would return to the complex with the same neighbors in a much safer, cleaner and more accommodating home.
“The updated apartments will be a boon for the residents and the local community,” Clavin said. “What’s more, we’re providing extra enhancements to the housing unit to ensure our Franklin Square senior housing residents are happy and comfortable.”