Crews began on the fifth floor and are now working on the fourth in a major renovation of the Marple Manor senior housing complex in Modesto.
The 145 apartment units are getting a makeover with updated kitchens and bathrooms, new cabinets, flooring, appliances, ceiling fans and window blinds.
UnitedHealth Group and National Affordable Housing Trust are partners in the $17.25 million project with the nonprofit Retirement Housing Foundation, whose 188 properties in 27 states include Marple Manor and Ralston Tower in Modesto.
A separate renovation project is under way at Ralston Tower, an RHF official said. The Marple Manor renovations are expected to be completed in 2025.
The project does not include additional housing units in a city with a big need for affordable dwellings for seniors. Representatives of RHF and UnitedHealth said during a program and tour Friday that they hear every day about the need for affordable housing.
Extensive renovations serve to preserve lower-cost housing that exists, so that people with limited incomes are not displaced, said Stuart Hartman, president and chief executive officer of RHF.
UnitedHealth, a giant health insurance group, says it invests in supportive housing because it drives better health outcomes for people.
“We need investments in renovations because of the importance of housing and supportive services and how that is important for people’s health,” said Steven Henry, senior director of investment management for UnitedHealth Group. A portion of the $17.25 million investment is for health and wellness services at Marple Manor.
Marple Manor, on Coffee Road, was built in 1984 and was ready for renovations after 40 years of housing older adults and people with disabilities. The residents, age 62 and older, have incomes that are 30% to 60% of median income, qualifying them for subsidized rents.
The project has included new exterior paint for the two five-story buildings, as well as newly paved parking and new picnic areas and gardens.
The work includes replacing flooring and light fixtures and redoing computer rooms on each floor. The complete overhaul includes plumbing, new wiring, heating and air-conditioning and a remodeled community room with kitchen and laundry facilities, library, fitness area and wellness center, a news release said.
“I think it is beautiful,” said Patsy Hall, an 88-year-old Marple Manor resident, referring to the improvements thus far. “It is looking much better.”
Hall said the apartment complex is old, with “a lot of older parts in it, like me.”
Months before the renovation work began in August, managers left vacancies open at Marple, allowing residents to move into temporary apartments as their floor is gutted and renovated, said the partners leading Friday’s tour. The construction work is proceeding floor by floor.
Rudy Rocha, 86, said he has lived at Marple Manor for seven and a half years and just moved back into his redone apartment, dubbed as “Home sweet home” by wall decor.
“I have always liked it here,” Rocha said, adding that the rent adjusted for his income is what he can afford.