Many curious onlookers have been wondering what exactly the new Cadillac House has to offer, so a few of us decided to take a little field trip and get a look for ourselves.
The building gets its name from the Cadillac automobile company, where this location once served as a show room. The building then was transformed into an apartment/office space, and stayed that way until 2009, when a fire damaged it - go figure. Now, it is home to one of Bellefonte’s newest residential opportunities.
The Cadillac House will feature 13 affordable units of two and three bedroom apartments. Some people may turn their nose up as soon as they hear “affordable”, but “affordable” simply means someone must have a qualifying income, within a certain range, and their rent is based on that income level along with a handful of other qualifiers. This means the Cadillac House can be home to many walks of life from young professionals to single parents to senior citizens.
As soon as you enter the building, which requires a key fob to ensure tenants safety, you feel as if you stepped in to a five star hotel. Right away we notice the huge mural of what the Cadillac Building once looked like from the exterior, which added a nostalgic feel, merging what once was and what now is. To the right we notice a large open room holding multiple tables and chairs, couches, flat screen, a beautiful kitchen and expansive views of Bishop Street and Allegheny Street. This is the Community Room, a place for anyone living in the Mews Buildings to reserve for events or just to catch up with friends over coffee.
After doing some snooping around, we met up with Heddy Kervandjian, decorator of the Mews projects and wife of Ara Kervandjian of the Progress Development Group (PDG). Heddy has put a lot of heart into the Cadillac House as easily witnessed by the interior design details, abundant character attributes and fantastic amenities for the residents.
Heddy continued to show us the rest of the ground floor. A storage facility featured personal fenced-in units for each tenant to store items like seasonal decorations, bicycles, beach chairs, etc. The ground floor also includes the Management Office, where potential tenants can receive information and applications for the apartments, and an office for “Supportive Services.” Heddy described the Supportive Services office as a place where some tenants can receive everyday help, such as assistance for finding a better-fitting job, interviewing best practices, or even time and money management. Volunteers and church organizations will help man this office and Heddy is excited to bring these career and lifestyle consulting services to any of the Mew’s residents who request them. We were blown away by the Supportive Services office and it’s mission; it really proves that Heddy and her husband have the best interest for their tenants in mind.
As we continued on our tour, we came across the Activity Room and Gym. The Activity Room, which has a pool table, ping-pong table, and foosball table, sits ready and waiting for tenants to get some tournaments going. A huge flat screen TV will also be added to the space before the building is complete. The Gym features exercise machines ready for that post turkey day workout. The attention to detail continued as we made our way to a second entrance, which includes a small lounge area with exterior seating for tenants to enjoy the fresh air after a busy day of work.
While walking around the hallways in complete awe, Heddy explained to us how this type of housing has certain limitations when it comes to the build out – limitations we would have never noticed had she not told us about them. A lot of thought and planning must go into making the space look as fabulous as it is with the restrictions put on developers like PDG. Using bright neutral colors and whites made every inch of the building look sleek, clean, and move-in ready. She said she and her husband wanted to “do things that people will find valuable,” and they've certainly achieved this.
We then followed Heddy into a 3-bedroom unit. As she opened the door, our jaws dropped. The open floor plan of the living room and kitchen looked like a trendy apartment in the city. It was unbelievably cool. High ceilings and factory-sized windows from floor to ceiling allow for a ton of natural light to enter the entire apartment. The main bathroom was larger than a freshman dorm room and even featured a large linen closet. Heddy states “we really thought about how people will live here and we wanted it to be perfect and exciting for them” which was extremely apparent in every area we entered. The front two bedrooms were similar in size with large closet spaces and the master bedroom suite at the end of the hall had its own bathroom with double sinks and a large walk-in closet. Add in the downtown views from every room and it’s a space like no other.
The Cadillac House is simply amazing. It’s absolutely stunning and a much needed addition to the transformation of downtown Bellefonte. Throughout our tour with Heddy, we were excited to see her passion for this project. She stressed that their main goal was that “tenants are safe, happy, and have everything they need.” She also went on to tell us that she loves Bellefonte and sees many more opportunities for the area, including PDG's parent company, HFL's next project that will take place near the Match Factory.
For more information and photos of the Cadillac House, visit the Mews website. Contact Toby Shaffer at 360-710-6823 to arrange a tour. Like us, you’ll likey want to move right in.
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