Amherst Schools greenlight $1.5M Lorain Pointe tax deal

By Jason Hawk -

A tax deal for a new Lorain apartment complex is expected to net $1.5 million for the Amherst Schools over the next 20 years.

Clover Communities of Lorain LLC plans to raise a three-story, 125-unit building called Lorain Pointe Senior Apartments on 10 undeveloped acres at 3303 Enclave Pl.

The site will be on North Pointe Parkway, located across Cooper Foster Park Road from the Terra Lane intersection.

While just outside the Amherst city limits, it’s well within the bounds of the school district, which extends north to Jaeger Road.

The Amherst board of education voted Monday to approve creation of a special tax district that will give Lorain Pointe a tax break while still keeping cash coming to the school system.

“We’re welcoming these people,” said district treasurer Barbara Donohue. “It will help the area, so we’re pleased about that.”

The apartments are targeted toward older, retired residents — not young families with children.

That means more income for the Amherst Schools without more students, superintendent Steven Sayers said. “We’re benefiting from additional revenue but not additional costs. It’s a win-win, really,” he said.

The city of Lorain will get another $1.5 million for repairs on Cooper Foster, which serves as the border between the two cities. The Lorain County JVS will also get a little more than $41,000 from the development over the next two decades.

Clover is billing its apartments online as “high-quality senior living” with an on-site beauty salon, community room, lounge, private family room and kitchen, and featuring an elevator, wide hallways with handrails, and other safety-minded amenities for older residents.

The agreement comes after years of bad blood over a similar tax incremental financing district for the Deerfield Estates — also located outside the Amherst city limits but inside the Amherst school district.

In that case, Lorain city council voted to reduce property taxes to zero for 10 years for mid-priced houses aimed at families with children.

Many vocally opposed that deal, which effectively raised school taxes on Amherst residents.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk