LANCASTER – A three-story building going up in downtown will be the Antelope Valley’s first to mix shops or restaurants and homes. Part of the city’s efforts to rebuild the aging neighborhoods north of Lancaster Boulevard, the senior housing development called Arbor Grove is being built by the same firm that built the new Arbor Gardens senior apartments four blocks away. “This building will be the gateway to the north downtown area,” said Scott Ehrilich, a partner in the development. Going up on 5.3 acres at the northeast corner of 10th Street West and Jackman Street, Arbor Grove will include four three-story buildings around a central courtyard. The developers expect it to be finished by July. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals On the ground floor along 10th Street West will be about 10,000 square feet of space for shops or restaurants. What kinds of shop and restaurants has not been decided, but the developers said they have had a number of businesses express interest. The buildings will contain 150 one-bedroom apartment units. In a unique design, the units will have connecting “pass through” doors between them – like some hotel rooms – for people who want to pair up with a friend, relative or caregiver. The buildings fronting 10th Street West will have rounded turrets and tower elements with a Tuscan Mediterranean design. On the far eastern side of the site, there will be a 1,800-square-foot community recreation center and three 720-square-foot classrooms that will be used for a computer lab, activities, meetings and classes for residents and local community members. Additionally there will be two 580-square-foot multipurpose community rooms at the center of the site for residents’ use only. The concept of joining commercial and residential uses in one building is an old idea, revived in recent years in many downtowns – as at Pasadena, Huntington Beach and Long Beach. Shops with apartments above them – often occupied by the shop owners – were a typical form of urban development before World War II. Such a building still survives in downtown in Lancaster, although the upper rooms are no longer used as living quarters. The concept generally died out in favor of suburban growth with separate residential neighborhoods and commercial areas. Insite Development recently completed a 76-unit senior housing complex, Arbor Gardens, that has been described as the first major construction project in the revitalization of north downtown. The Arbor Gardens complex at the southwest corner of Kettering Street and Elm Avenue is full to capacity, with a waiting list of seniors who want to be tenants. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!