The Armory Park Apartments have occupied a prominent place in downtown Tucson\\u0027s skyline for 40 years. Residents are now in the process of vacating the aging building and moving into new Section 8 housing located in the Mercado district on West Congress.

Residents of the Armory Park Apartments are moving out of their aging building and into the Sentinel Plaza Apartments on West Congress Street in Tucson.

The Armory Park building, a fixture for nearly 40 years, consists of 143 subsidized units limited to occupancy by low-income seniors 62 years or older.

Parker Luttrell, social service coordinator at Armory Park, says the residents pay no more than one-third of their income for housing, and the typical rent averages $200.

The rental agreements for the 143 units at Sentinel Plaza, which is owned by Chicago-based Senior Housing Group, LLC, will remain the same but the building is a significant upgrade for residents.

“It’s a 75 or 85 percent larger [floor plan] for each unit,” says Luttrell.

The new building also offers fitness facilities, a library, spacious common areas, and security features.

Idalia Garza, a resident at Armory Park, says the move is a small inconvenience and she’s happy in her new one-bedroom apartment.

“The apartment is beautiful,” she says. “It’s roomy, it’s big, [it has] a lot of closets.”

Garza says she nearly ended up homeless last year when she lost her home to foreclosure, and the opportunity to move into Sentinel Plaza is something she didn’t think would be possible.

“Thank God there is help for us senior citizens,” she says.