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This drawing shows how Washington Elementary School will look after it is renovated into a senior housing cooperative. Drawing courtesy of Ringdahl Architects

Next assignment: Senior housing cooperative

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So what will happen to Washington Elementary School after it closes?

It will be transformed into a senior housing cooperative.

The Village Cooperative of Alexandria will consist of 28 new homes within the existing Washington school structure.

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A substantial renovation of the existing building will create "a beautifully renovated historic building within an existing Alexandria neighborhood," according to the company.

The Village Cooperative will host informational workshops on Thursday, May 7 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria.

The workshops will provide information on senior cooperative housing and the proposed cooperative for the Washington School property - the first opportunity for the public to see the full redevelopment plans.

The homes will include one, two and two-plus bedroom, single-level homes that range from 749 square feet to more than 1,525 square feet of living space. Each home will be maintenance-free and will include a laundry room, storage area and a private balcony or patio.

Proposed community features include: Multiple community party rooms, fitness room, guest suite, woodworking shop, landscaped gardens, wireless Internet, entrances with security cameras, heated parking garage and car wash.

Local businesspersons Pat Ellingson, Tom Hills, and Scott Johnston agreed to purchase the Washington School property in 2008 and are partnering with St. Paul based Real Estate Equities (REE) to develop the project.

"Our company started developing cooperative communities in 2004 because we saw the desire for this type of dynamic lifestyle. These communities give adults 55 and over, around the Midwest, the option of a hassle-free lifestyle in their home with the amenities they desire," said Keith Jans, president of Real Estate Equities Development, LLC.

As a cooperative, the members control ownership. The cooperative will also employ an on-site resident services coordinator as well as offer concierge and courtesy services.

Vicki Schultz, director of sales and marketing for Real Estate Equities Development is handling the marketing for the project. Her team has marketed cooperative sales for nine cooperatives for REE.

The architect for the project is Ringdahl Architects of Alexandria

More information about REE is available on the website, www.reeliving .com

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