CONNEAUT — A multi-million dollar upgrade to an apartment building in downtown Conneaut should be completed by early summer.

Conneaut Manor Apartments began a $3.1 million interior and exterior renovation at the end of August, said Ket Shuss, property manager. The project is the most extensive facelift given the five-story building since it was constructed in 1980, she said.

“This has been years in the planning,” Shuss said.

When finished, each of the 53 units will have been gutted and rebuilt with the limited mobility and dexterity of seniors in mind. The building’s common areas will receive improved lighting and security. Outside, additional parking on the north side of the building will be added, along with a garden area and ornamental fencing, Shuss said.

The apartments are being remodeled in a 10-phase plan, Shuss said. As of last week, contractors with Tober Building Company of Richfield were working on the third phase, she said.

“Everything’s on schedule,” Shuss said.

Conneaut Manor Apartments caters to people age 55 and older. Levin Group, Inc., owns the property.

Financing for the work closed in July and will involve loans insured through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as low-income housing tax credits awarded in 2 015 by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency,

according to a statement.

The OHFA provided the tax credits through a program aimed at preserving affordable housing.

The credits help offset the cost of rehabilitation; in return, owners must maintain affordable rent and limit occupancy to low- and moderate-income residents for up to 30 years.

Each unit will receive new plank flooring, carpeting, kitchen cabinets, kitchen counters and bathroom fixtures, as well as lighting upgrades inside the apartment. 

“Everything is brand new,” Shuss said.

A professional moving company will relocate tenants to a vacant unit in the building when their apartment comes due for the facelift.

The work takes about three weeks to finish, Shuss said.

“We’ve done everything we possibly can to make a smooth transition,” she said.

Contractors, too, have been considerate of the tenants, limiting their work hours to weekdays, Shuss said.

“They have been very compassionate,” she said. “It has gone very well.”

All of the apartments should be finished by the end of May, while the balance of the work will be done sometime in June, Shuss said. The result will be a building that should enhance the downtown district, she said.

“It will be a major improvement for the city of Conneaut,” Shuss said. “It will improve the look and feel (of the area).”