The Kelberman Center is planning co-living apartments that will give their clients with developmental disabilities more independence and serve as a model for similar projects nationwide.

The first of its kind in New York state, The Link at Sunset will have 12 apartments for those with developmental disabilities and 48 apartments for typical people who meet income requirements and pass a background check. The typical residents may, if they desire, receive a stipend or rent reduction for assisting their neighbors with developmental disabilities with tasks such as preparing meals, getting ready on time and doing laundry.

"This project will allow us to continue assisting adults with developmental disabilities and their families by allowing them to live within a community that will be rooted in diversity, friendship, support and independence," said Dr. Robert Myers, The Kelberman Center's executive director. "Our vision is one where people with developmental disabilities live among other residents from the greater Mohawk Valley workforce who want to provide companionship and support to their neighbors with disabilities."

The apartments will be built on the site of the former Sunset School, on Sunset Ave. in south Utica; the school will be demolished but the new building will have the same footprint. Construction is expected to take 15 months, weather permitting.

"We were so relieved to learn of The Link — a beautiful living option for people like our son, providing a community of friends and a supportive living environment for him to call home," one community member said.

The Link will include a main floor office space and conference spaces for The Kelberman Center in addition to community rooms. Overall, there will be 50 one-bedroom apartments, 10 two-bedroom apartments and 94 parking spaces available, including 20 spaces for resident visitors and 24 for The Kelberman Center employees.

The Kelberman Center will accept applications from anyone interested in living at The Link.