Morton Estates

affordable senior housing

Morton Illinois







the need

The challenge

Morton Estates sits in the community of Morton Illinois, a growing community located between Peoria and Bloomington-Normal. With an estimated population of roughly 17,000 this community is far from small. Morton has a history rich in industry and still home to an American favorite Libby’s Pumpkin, which has helped this community gain its name as Pumpkin Capital of the World. As you can imagine with a growing population and its accessibility to major highways to take you to surrounding cities the need for affordable housing was very clear but what was overwhelming clear was the need for affordable senior housing. This community that was built on industry and pumpkin farming had an entire generation that was hitting elderly and in need of a place to downsize too that would let them stay in a community they knew and loved. The current and newer housing developments in the area were operating off waitlist and had rents compatible with a working wage of the area, many of Morton’s senior residents were living on Social Security or small retirements, not making enough to cover the market rents for the area. St. Mary’s Development Corporation and Pivotal (MVG at the time) identified this in this community and knew with the assistance of tax credits

The solution

The action

In 2014, St. Mary’s Development Corporation and Pivotal (MVG at the time) identified that the community of Morton was in need of an affordable housing development for seniors in the area and with the assistance of Low Income Housing Tax Credits they could fill a void for the community. Once the tax credits were awarded and funding was in place the developers knew that renovating a eyesore of a building in the heart of Morton would have the greatest impact. The building was a closed (relocated to a new campus) nursing home. With low to no step entries, ample space for community amenities, ample parking and access to the local businesses this location was perfect. The city was happy to help the developers in every way. With the space of the old nursing home the developers were able to offer 61 one and two-bedroom apartment homes designed for adults 55 and over. Each spacious floor plan included modern amenities you would expect to find in a luxury home, at affordable rental rates: a fully-equipped gourmet kitchen with energy-efficient appliances, exceptional closet space, central air conditioning, and a laundry room which includes a full-size washer and dryer. The common space provides comforts of contemporary living which include a business center with computer workstations, fitness center and media room

The Impact

The result

Morton Estates opened it’s doors in December of 2016. Opening a senior development in the winter meant a slower leasing period due to inclement weather but once spring hit Morton Estates was full and hosting home to 61 community members that now had the opportunity to pay affordable rents for a brand-new home. Some of the residents sold their homes to move into a senior community space with access to amenities that were developed with them in mind. The community also has a supportive services option to assist its residents in finding services that benefit them from transportation to food delivery, they have someone in the office to assist them as needed. Since opening its doors Morton Estates has stayed full, with a nice waitlist, when openings do occur there is always a new resident to move in quickly. Over the years Morton Estates has become a staple in the community, what was once an eyesore of a building is now a lovely and bustling campus.

Over the past 25 years St. Mary Development Corporation and MVAH have partnered together to develop 46 projects consisting of over 3,000 units in nine states. This longstanding partnership continues to be built on trust and a shared passion for affordable housing. Professionalism, experience, a talented sta and a continual pursuit of excellence are the reasons we have and will continue to partner with MVAH to create affordable homes for families and seniors.

Our Development Team

Midwest Region

In the Midwest Region our mission is to develop apartment communities that serve families and seniors.  We use  9% and 4% tax credits to provide affordable, sustainable workforce housing in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Pete Schwiegeraht

Senior Vice President of Development

Upper Midwest Region

The Upper Midwest Regional team enhances the lives of current and future residents by building high quality affordable housing in diverse communities throughout Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

Wyllys Mann

Senior Vice President of Development
Granvel Tate

Southeast Region

In the Southeast Region our mission is to develop apartment communities that serve families and seniors.  We use  9% and 4% tax credits to provide affordable, sustainable workforce housing in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Granvel Tate

Senior Vice President of Development

Northeast Region

The Northeast Region focuses on building the highest quality affordable housing communities for families and seniors in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York.  

Trey Barbour

Senior Vice President of Development

Southwest Region

The Southwest Region is focused on providing quality workforce accessible housing that service our hard-working families who are overburdened by housing costs. Additionally, the Southwest Region focuses on developing affordable senior housing and offering activities and community gatherings to keep our seniors engaged and active. The Southwest Region focuses its activities on Texas, with Arizona and Colorado on the horizon.

Darren Smith

Head of Development