Parkview Villa: A Transformation in Wagner
Heritage Court was built in 1981 to serve the housing needs of the elderly in Wagner and the surrounding area. By 2011, only 8 of the 34 units were occupied. Faced with an aging building and a growing need for senior housing, the community leaders of Wagner began brainstorming.
"As a hospital administrator and CEO, I was asked to look into a need for additional senior housing for the elderly," said Bryan Slaba. Initially they were looking into an assisted living facility, but that plan did not fit the budget. Slaba, along with seven other community members started a non-profit organization called Parkview Villa Inc. By utilizing the Neighborhood Stabilization program (NSP) available through SDHDA, the local group had the chance to assist the elderly. They purchased the building in 2011 and began transforming the property into a viable, updated facility for senior living. Twenty months after the purchase, Parkview Villa became fully livable.
Slaba says the atmosphere at the property is a lot different since Parkview Villa Inc. has taken over. "There is a great and vibrant atmosphere," Slaba said. "In the meeting room there's a few tenants watching soap operas and people playing cards. This has become a default community center for Wagner and has created a nice atmosphere for our elderly."
"The building was becoming an eyesore, and for it to become vibrant, it's really something," stated Slaba. "This absolutely would not have been possible without help from South Dakota Housing."