oakwood village (copy)

Oakwood Village University Woods is located on Madison's west side.

Oakwood Village University Woods plans to demolish its apartment complex on Mineral Point Road and build two new ones, a move that will affect and potentially displace up to 80 residents, including 30 affordable-housing renters.

In 2022, the facility plans to start the renovation, which includes tearing down its current apartment tower, built in the 1970s. The tower will be replaced with two new facilities with larger apartments to better meet housing demands, said Keith VanLanduyt, vice president of marketing at Oakwood Village. He said staff there have been talking with residents about the project since 2011 and are currently working with residents who will be affected to help them find new places to live.

There are no plans to transfer or replace the Section 8 housing units in the new buildings, he said. Section 8 refers to the portion of federal law that offers low-income tenants housing vouchers to pay about 30 percent of their income, while the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development picks up the rest.

"We’re not talking about anyone needing to move anytime soon," VanLanduyt said. He said that Oakwood has gotten a lot of comments from residents but said it will pay for resident moving costs and is trying to be "really proactive and communicative with residents and giving them three years to plan."

"We are supporting them strongly and staying true to our mission," he said. 

Oakwood Village is an assisted living and apartment complex for senior adults run by Oakwood Lutheran Senior Ministries, a nonprofit formed in 1948. The nonprofit also runs a foundation, The Oakwood Foundation, which was established in 1981 to focus on enhancing the quality of life of elderly adults in Madison. It has two locations: Oakwood Village University Woods on Mineral Point Road and Oakwood Village Prairie Ridge on Tancho Drive. 

According to the plans, filed with the city on June 12, the renovation would take place in two phases: one to construct the first new apartment building with parking, a common area and dining venue, with leases to begin in 2022, and another to build a second apartment complex with a health and wellness center with leases to start in 2026.

The new apartment complex would have 14 floors of apartments, with a total of at least 140 one- and two-bedroom residential units and include a connector to the Covenant Oaks assisted living building. The new buildings will have only 1,000 to 1,500-square foot units. The current apartment building has only 500-square foot units. 

"The building systems are starting to deteriorate and basically ... we have a hard time marketing them because most apartments are 500 square feet," VanLanduyt said. 

About half of Oakwood's current tenants are eligible to be moved into the new apartments, because they signed a "life lease" prior to 2011. That premium rental agreement includes an entrance fee in addition to a monthly rental fee, and includes priority status for health care services.

"We believe we have an obligation to keep those folks on our campus so we're looking for alternatives," VanLanduyt said. 

The other half of its current tenants were moved in on a month-to-month lease in 2011 and will have to move. 

The plan also includes a reduction in assisted living and skilled nursing units, with 12 fewer skilled nursing and 12 fewer assisted living units by 2026, according to the facility's plans. 


Katelyn Ferral is The Cap Times' public affairs and investigative reporter. She joined the paper in 2015 and previously covered the energy industry for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. She's also covered state politics and government in North Carolina.