Gilman Court, a new complex for low-income seniors, is on schedule to open in mid-April. To date, about 50 people have applied to lease apartments in the 60-unit building at 610 N.E. 99th Ave.
“We’ll cap the number at 150, so we encourage people to apply early if they’re interested,” said Laura Recko, public relations manager for REACH Community Development Corporation, the nonprofit that owns and developed the $15.8 million building.
Recko said construction is more than 85 percent complete on the project. “We’re basically on schedule for what we predicted,” she said. “There may be a little bit of push, but nothing too horrible.”
R & H Colas Construction is busily adding the final changes to the brown-and-taupe six-story building. Sharing the same one-block site is Glisan Commons Phase I, a 67-unit, five-story building of workforce housing, owned by Human Solutions, which opened in January 2014. Last summer Ride Connection, a transportation service provider for seniors and people with disabilities, moved into the main floor of Phase I.
Formerly called Glisan Commons Phase II, Gilman Court will offer one-bedroom apartments to seniors 55 or over earning 30 to 60 percent of the area median family income, or $14,580 to $29,160 for single-family households. Seniors earning only 30 percent or the median family income are allowed to rent four of the units at $325 a month, plus utilities. The other 56 units, renting at $605 to $640, plus utilities, will be reserved for seniors earning 55 percent of median family income.
The new building was renamed recently in honor of Dennis Gilman, REACH’s founder and its first director. His two surviving daughters, Maggie Gilman Holm and Cadie Gilman, will speak at the complex’s grand opening, planned for July 20 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the building.
Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who was a friend of Gilman’s, has also been invited to speak, as well as Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who is in charge of the city’s housing bureau. REACH’s executive director, Dan Valliere, and others will also speak. In addition, refreshments and music are part of the event.
Gilman founded REACH in 1982. The acronym stands for Recreation, Education, Access to Commerce and Housing.
Thirty-two years ago Gilman, who lived in the Buckman neighborhood in inner Southeast Portland, envisioned along with other neighborhood activists buying the then-closed Washington High School and turning it into REACH’s first affordable housing site and possibly a community center. When that plan fell through, they brainstormed a Plan B.
“They started buying up all these beautiful, single-family, old Victorian homes in the neighborhood,” Recko said. “We still own about 15 percent of the real estate in the Buckman neighborhood. We still have many of those homes available for rent. That was part of his vision.”
REACH plans to provide on-site property management services for both the Gilman Court building and next-door neighbor Glisan Commons I. In turn, Human Solutions provides resident services for both buildings.
The two structures will share a 64-space parking lot with access to 20 additional spaces on evenings and weekends when Ride Connection employees are not working.
“We’re very excited,” Recko said. “We think it’s going to be a great asset for folks, and it’s a good location.”