106 elderly residents in Denver forced to find new homes

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DENVER -- Elderly residents living at Lowry Park Independent Assisted Living Center have until the end of June to find a new place to live.

They were notified a few days ago that their building had been sold to a developer who plans to demolish it and create new, upscale apartments.

A New Jersey-based company owns Lowry Park. According to the group that manages the building, Vivage Senior Living Solutions, the owners received an offer they couldn’t refuse.

“We want to make the best thing for the residents and that’s our whole goal,” said Mark Osweiler, vice president of Vivage Senior Living Solutions.

Vivage is contracted by the building’s owner to maintain the property. Osweiler said Vivage learned about the sale through a resident’s relative instead of Lowry Park’s owner.

“It’s very hard when you have to close down a building,” Osweiler said.

Vivage has reached out to its competitors in the area to help find new homes for the residents. Out of the 106 people who live at Lowry Park, Vivage has found new homes for 16 residents in just the past two days.

“It’s very hard on them and their families. Many of them felt it was going to be their last home. [That] they wouldn’t have to move unless they had to go to skilled housing,” Osweiler said.

Still, for the families, it was tough news to comprehend. Many are on fixed incomes and finding affordable housing in Denver is no easy task.

“It’s just like somebody pulled a rug out from underneath you. An old saying. Because we weren’t expecting it for one thing,” said Helen Blaszczyk, a Lowry Park resident.

As of Wednesday, Blaszczyk was still looking for a new home. Osweiler was upset by the news as well. In his 30 years working in senior assisted living, he said this was the first time he had to close a facility.

Osweiler said Vivage plans to help residents with moving expenses and provide them with additional money when refunding their security deposits.

There has been no word on who purchased the building.

Demolition to Lowry Park will likely begin in July, so the developer can start building the new apartment complex. The Lowry neighborhood is considered hot property in terms of real estate.

Many are calling this “another case of gentrification.” Out with the old, in with the new.

 

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