ASHWAUBENON (NBC 26) — In her nearly six years as village president, Mary Kardoskee says senior housing is something that residents have repeatedly asked for.
“We get calls weekly from people that live in the village, they’ve lived in the village for 40, 50, 60 years, they don’t want to move out of the village, but we didn’t have any senior housing for them," Kardoskee said.
Now, the village is looking to accomodate the area's large senior population by adding two new senior apartment complexes. The village is considering several proposals to turn the former site of the San Luis Manor retirement home, located on Cormier Road, into new senior housing as well as a new branch of the Brown County Public library. Kardoskee estimates the new site will have anywhere from 80 to 120 units and will be finished by 2025.
She says the new library will be between 15,000 - 18,000 square feet.
“We have a very outdated library in Ashwaubenon," Kardoskee said. "We’ve been trying to find a new spot for a library. We thought that with the senior housing it would just be a great fit.”
The second site is Berkshire Ashwaubenon, which will have affordable senior housing for low income families and 16 units of workforce townhomes. It’s located on Mike Mcarthy Way and is expected to be finished in late fall of 2023 or early spring of 2024. Kardoskee says the project was made possible thanks to a $4.7 million grant from the state, which came from funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
"We've been trying to get, for many years, any affordable senior housing in the village," Kardoskee said. "We've never qualified with the points the developers have to score, so this was the first time."
To understand what makes the village so friendly for seniors, you just have to talk to the residents that have lived there for decades. Roger Schmechel, who has lived in the village for over 40 years, says the close proximity to so many stores is convenient for seniors who don’t want to travel far.
“Everything is right in the village, you’ve got Titletown and Oneida Street and the mall, everything is here," Schmechel said.
He says he’s glad that more people will now get to enjoy everything he’s loved about the village for all those years.
“The friendships, the community, everything was pretty much here," Schmechel said.