Today’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Apache ASL Trails 55 and over deaf community was quite an eye opening experience. While I have been familiar with the project for a few months, I never quite understood the impact it will have on the lives of some very special people until attending this mornings photo op and shovel turning of dirt.
I learned some very valuable lessons about the deaf community and about some of the things these seniors will be blessed with once they are able to move into this project next Summer. One future resident spoke about the fact that many people don’t understand the deaf community or their needs. While the buildings will be equipped to help with such things as flashing light signalers for phones and doorbells, videophone’s, light fixtures and windows designed to minimize glare, an amplification system for hearing aids, activity rooms and specific safety features built in to a lifestyle building, these are just the beginning. What helps make places like this truly work for the deaf and hard of hearing will be a community and staff of people who understand their needs and how to communicate with them and their way of life.
Thankfully, this project has survived a “down economy” and has been held together by a LOT of teamwork, grants, dedication and perseverance.
Nick Miner is a commercial real estate agent that has worked on this project for the past 7 years. Nick tells me that Apache Trails is located on just over 3 acres of ground and that the location fit the design specs very well. Located on the N/E corner of Lemon and Apache, this $16 million, 75-unit apartment community sits just East of the light rail station at Price and Apache. Light rail was one benefit for the community they made an effort to fulfill. Having the large trains nearby help the hearing impaired in many ways. Easy to see, easy to ride and easy access to many places along the line just make sense for this project. Many people talk about some of the economic opportunities brought to the valley via light rail but this project, at 75 units, will be the model for future projects of it’s kind and is currently one of the largest senior deaf communities in the country.
It is great to see cool projects like this in a challenging real estate market. Attending today’s meeting gave me an opportunity to see first hand how many different people and organizations worked hard on this project. The people at Cardinal Capital mention that the project is for: “Deaf seniors who wish to exchange their life of isolation for a new home among users of American Sign Language” and that regular programs for deaf seniors, and an opportunity for safety and security will be part of this community. These people have obviously put in a lot of time and dedication to building a community that should be one of the best in the country for this type of housing.
Apache Trails is located at 2428 E. Apache Boulevard in Tempe.
Features are listed as:
* 75 units of affordable housing
* Full-time ASL management
* Services provided by the Valley Center of the Deaf
* Secured entryway with videophone plus videophone hook ups in every unit
* Strobe lighting and custom unit lighting
* Loop for hearing aid amplification
* Open sight lines and wider hallways
* Vibrant community room with kitchen
* Easy highway access
* Easy access to light rail
* Beautifully designed unit interiors