Developer and Architect: Gorman & Co. Major Funders: Mississippi Home Corp.; Centerline Capital Group; JPMorgan Chase; Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Insurance Proceeds
GULFPORT, MISS.— Edgewood Manor, a 120-unit, 15-building Sec. 8 development, became a symbol of people being left behind during the months after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. Without roofs, windows, and utilities, many residents refused to leave because they couldn't find other housing. Overcoming many obstacles, Gorman & Co. stepped in to rebuild the property, transforming it into a revitalized community called Emerald Pines.
Prior to the start of construction in September 2008, it was determined that many of the walls were not as structurally sound as had been anticipated after Hurricane Gustav barreled through Gulfport, adding construction costs. And in October 2008, the project lost some of its financing, resulting in a $2 million shortfall.
But in the end, Gorman & Co. received Tax Credit Assistance Program funds from the Mississippi Housing Corp. to fill the gap. The other financing for the $14.3 million development included tax-exempt bonds and 4 percent tax credits, insurance proceeds, and Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago Affordable Housing Program funding.
“We were confident that everyone would step up to the table because this development was so inspirational and so important to get done,” says Tom Capp, COO of Gorman & Co. The developer completed exterior and interior modernization of the units and buildings, and added hurricane resistant windows, additional structural bracing, and private entries to all units.
A new 1,700-square-foot community center with laundry, a computer center, a fitness center, and a community room also was added as were walkways, a picnic pavilion, and a playground and splash area.
“We had to amenitize and build a setting that would allow a community to be born,” Capp says, adding that some of the former residents have returned.
Emerald Pines is comprised of 10 one-bedroom, 30 two-bedroom, 50 three-bedroom, and 30 four-bedroom units and will operate under a 20-year housing assistance payment contract with the units restricted to households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income. —Christine Serlin
PETALUMA AVENUE HOMES
Developer: Affordable Housing Associates Architect: McCamant & Durrett Architects
Major Funders: Hudson Housing Capital; Silicon Valley Bank; City of Sebastopol; Sonoma County; Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco; Enterprise Green Communities; California Tax Credit Allocation Committee
SEBASTOPOL, CALIF.—Homes has two big missions: provide an affordable place for people to live and foster a sense of community.
The first goal is achieved through 45 apartments aimed at low-income residents of Sonoma County in Northern California. The second is accomplished by embracing the ideals of co-housing.
“Petaluma Avenue Homes is one of the few examples in the United States of affordable rental co-housing, an innovative approach which combines the autonomy of private homes with the advantages and support of community living,” says developer Susan Friedland, executive director of Affordable Housing Associates (AHA). “It is so exciting to visit the property and see residents participating in a thriving community garden, regular baby-sitting swaps, and twice monthly community meals in the common house.”
The $16.5 million development is designed for social interaction. All the parking is pulled out to the perimeter, leaving the interior of the property for children to play and residents to garden. The project also features large porches to encourage socializing and a community house for events.
The development is loaded with green features, including solar panels to help power the common areas.
The one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments serve residents earning between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income, with the average below 50 percent, says Friedland.
AHA used $10.9 million in low-income housing tax credit equity from Hudson Housing Capital.
Silicon Valley Bank provided an $11 million construction loan and a $1.6 million permanent loan. The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco also provided a $270,000 Affordable Housing Program grant through Silicon Valley Bank. The Sebastopol Community Development Agency provided $2.8 million, and the Sonoma County Community Development Commission provided $495,000 in Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds. —Donna Kimura
RESIDENCES AT EASTLAND
Developer: The NuRock Cos. Architect: Morton M. Gruber, AIA, Architect
Major Funders: Boston Capital; Wells Fargo; Freddie Mac; City of Forth Worth; Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
FORT WORTH, TEXAS— The NuRock Cos. has transformed a 30-acre junkyard into the Residences at Eastland, a family development that is helping to turn around a neighborhood.
Bringing the project to fruition took a lot of perseverance on the part of the developer. It was on the cusp of receiving low-income housing tax credits for two consecutive years and then was successful on the third attempt.
“We worked hard for three years to get the local support lined up and to [demonstrate] that we were bringing in a quality project,” says Bradford Bell, development manager at NuRock.
NuRock Managing Principal Rob Hoskins says the development, which is in a Neighborhood Empowerment Zone, is meeting the city's goals of creating affordable housing, increasing economic development, and increasing public safety. The developer also just closed on a neighboring 92-unit project-based Sec. 8 property and intends to do a gut rehab.
“We believe this with the Residences at Eastland will fully secure the neighborhood,” Hoskins says, adding that the surrounding area is starting to see single-family housing revitalization and discussion regarding new retail development.
The Residences at Eastland has a special emphasis on helping children “break out” of cycles of negative influences as well as academics through NuRock's BreakOut program, which is a supervised after-school and summer camp program. Children receive a snack, get homework help, participate in activities, and can play and learn in the kids' computer lab.
“We believe that by providing support services for our residents' children makes it a better community,” Hoskins says.
The $16.7 million development features 146 two-, three-, and four-bedroom townhomes and flats, with 10 percent of the units targeted for families earning 30 percent of the area median income (AMI), 86 percent of the units at 60 percent of AMI, and the remainder at market rate. —Christine Serlin
THE ST. AIDAN
Developer: The Planning Office for Urban Affairs, Inc. Architect: The Architectural Team
Major Funders: Bank of America; Wainwright Bank; Town of Brookline; Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development; MassHousing; Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston; Housing Partnership Network
BROOKLINE, MASS.— Once the site of the historic St. Aidan Church, where John F. Kennedy was baptized and which served as the Kennedy family parish for decades, is now a 59-unit mixedincome development in this affluent community outside of Boston.
Developed by the Planning Office of Urban Affairs (POUA), a nonprofit developer affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston, The St. Aidan runs the gamut from affordable rental units to high-end luxury condos.
For POUA, it was important to provide a mix of housing for different incomes. “If we don't create truly mixed-income communities, then this world becomes about people who serve others and cannot afford to live with them,” says President Lisa B. Alberghini. “Brookline was becoming a community of people who serve those in town but couldn't live there.”
It took 10 years from the idea of the project to completion, with the developer battling a NIMBY lawsuit, going through a lengthy permitting process, and working through the cost increases because of delays. “It required an extraordinary level of patience, perseverance, and tenacity,” Alberghini says.
The $36.5 million project is structured as three secondary condominiums— for the church building, the two buildings on Crowninshield Road, and the Pleasant Street building— under one master condominium that governs the common areas.
The Pleasant Street building is comprised of 20 low-income housing tax credit rental units and 16 condos for first-time home buyers. The Crowninshield Road buildings feature 14 townhome units, and the historic church has been converted into nine high-end luxury condos, which provided a significant internal cross subsidy to help support the affordable units. Ten percent of the units are set aside for residents at or below 30 percent of the area median income (AMI), 10 percent for those at or below 50 percent of AMI, 14 percent for those at or below 60 percent of AMI, 27 percent for those at or below 80 percent of AMI, and the remainder at market rate. —Christine Serlin