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APARTMENT BUYERS COULD CONVERT UNITS.

Byline: Jason Z. Cohen Staff Writer

VAN NUYS - Residents of a Sherman Way apartment complex could face the loss of their homes if a proposal to turn the complex into a senior housing and assisted living facility is approved.

A group proposing to buy Valley Crossing apartments, 15454 Sherman Way, is asking city officials to approve a zoning change to allow the conversion, said Bob Phillips, spokesman for R and B Realty Group.

That complex was an Oakwood Apartments facility until four years ago.

Phillips said R and B, the current management, is cooperating with the prospective buyers, but is not proposing the change itself.

Architect Robert Ringstrom said the prospective buyers, Senior Living Concepts of Northern California, and the proposed management firm, Regent Assisted Living Inc. of Portland, Ore., plan to hold meetings with the current tenants.

A public hearing before the Office of Zoning Administration is scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 25 at the Airtel Plaza Hotel, 7277 Valjean Ave., Van Nuys.

Ringstrom said the plan calls for half of the complex to be converted to senior housing for people 55 and older and the other half to be converted to assisted living. It will not be a nursing home, he said.

Construction is expected to begin in as little as three months, Ringstrom said. He said the prospective owners have retained a relocation consultant to help current tenants find new homes.

More projects like this are likely, experts say.

``I do believe it is going to be a trend. You'll see a lot more of this as the population ages,'' said Michael Carney, executive director of the Real Estate Research Council at Cal Poly Pomona. ``We're getting relatively more older people. That suggests all by itself that there will be a trend away from general housing to senior housing.''

According to the National Council on Senior Housing, there will be more than 60 million people over the age of 55 by 2002.

Also driving developers toward senior housing are a variety of tax and other government incentives that encourage such projects.

The federal government offers low-income housing tax credits, tax-exempt mortgage-backed revenue bonds and affordable housing grants through the U.S. Department of Housing.

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Map: Proposed housing complex
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 18, 2000
Words:375
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