SIDNEY — RJ Horowitz, managing member of LFR Ohio Properties, is happy to see the residents of Canal Place Apartments “gelling” together as a community.
The problem is they were congregating on the sidewalk in the summer, standing or taking out chairs.
“People come out and want to be able to socialize. Some people have difficulty with their mobility. Some people just want to be able to come out on a nice day. It’s very difficult here because we don’t have a green space. The nearest green space is at the parking lot where we have a picnic table. More than a block away we have the town square. If you’re on a wheelchair or a walker, it can be challenging to get to those places,” said Horowitz.
On July 19, Horowitz went to Lowes and got wood to build a bench for the residents. It took about three and a half hours to build.
The bench is an idea he had been mulling over for a while. In the end, Horowitz decided on a design that he had seen at Tawawa Park. A very similar bench had been built there by the Boy Scouts of America.
“I think the bench is an important grounding point for the tenants to be able to come out and sit. We really wanted something that’s conducive to what we’re about. We replicated the design of the Boy Scouts’ bench at Tawawa Park and we adjusted it to fit our space here. It’s a comfortable place to sit and watch the world go by. So far, the reception has been 100 percent positive,” said Horowitz.
The bench is attached to the building for added sturdiness and has been a favorite meeting place for residents since its installation.
“The bench is away from the door. It’s anchored and under video surveillance, so it’s safe. We have some potted plants here and some trees, so you can sit in the shade or feed the birds, if you want. It’s a nice place to sit on a hot day,” said Horowitz.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.