To T.J. Pool, the renovations and upgrades that have been made at Stephenville Crossing apartments qualify as a “humanitarian” story.
In fact, he said, getting a chance to move from an RV park into a modern-looking, affordable apartment has changed his life.
The former Casa Brendan apartments, at 1300 W. Hyman St., has 86 units — studios and one-bedrooms — for rent. They are open to seniors age 62 and older, and those with qualifying disabilities.
Pool said, “It was run down. It was built well, out of brick, they tell me, 50 years ago.”
Pool added that the renovation also brought in new air conditioning, flooring, sheetrock and counters — “new from top to bottom.”
The property was purchased from the previous owner by Related Companies — a major international real estate firm based in New York City. Local resident Kathy Osborne was hired by the company as its community manager in November 2017.
“Related Companies is proud of its nearly half-century commitment to affordable housing,” said Jessica Scaperotti, a spokesperson for Related Companies. “Our affordable division, Related Affordable, has preserved tens of thousands of affordable housing units across the country and has never converted a a single unit to market rate — a legacy we plan to continue in Stephenville.
“Related Affordable believes that everyone, regardless of income level, should have a nice place to call home and that is why we are committed to improving the quality of life for our residents.”
Scaperotti said the Stephenville Crossing rehab took seven months, and not only enhanced accessibility throughout, but also included the creation of two new amenities — a fitness center and computer lab.
“We also extensively renovated the community center and have been hosting weekly events for our residents,” Scaperotti said. “We’ve done a number of upgrades to individual apartments, including the kitchens and bathrooms, and installing new flooring in the apartments that needed it the most.”
Pool also mentioned other extras for use by the residents, including a laundry room and a community room. Residents also benefit from free WiFi, he said, and there are surveillance cameras to enhance security.
“It’s almost unbelievable. They didn’t spare any expense,” said Pool, a 65-year-old who moved to Stephenville from Hood County earlier this year. “It’s changed my whole life. It was just a godsend.”
Pool said he previously had moved from Arlington to Indian Harbor, a gated subdivision just south of Granbury. He was living in an RV park in Erath County before moving into Stephenville Crossing.
Pool’s mother has a home across the street from Stephenville Crossing.
“I came here because of my mother,” said Pool, who mentioned that he served four years as an Army Ranger right out of high school. “We’re (my family) all from Dallas. I used to build homes in Dallas and Fort Worth.”
Pool said he was on the waiting list for an opening at Stephenville Crossing, and is now pleased that he had the patience not to go elsewhere.
“I was about to give up,” he said. “There are not enough properties that provide for senior citizens like this one does. Most people have to move or move in with their family. And they also have to have some people that care.”
And, Pool said, he’s not the only resident praising the renovations.
“A lot of people say it’s unbelievable how much it’s improved their quality of life, and to be able to go outside and know they are safe.”