Greystone Affordable Development, a firm known for its preservation work, has broken ground on its first new construction project.
The company, in partnership with Weaver-Kirkland Development, is building a 70-unit affordable housing property for seniors earning between 40% and 60% of the area median income in Hudson, North Carolina. Kirkwood Grove Apartments is the first of several affordable housing developments planned in the state by the joint venture over the next few years.
“This project is significant for our team as the first that we are developing for our direct ownership,” said Tanya Eastwood, CEO of Greystone Affordable Development. “We are thrilled to partner with Weaver-Kirkland on this project in North Carolina and thank the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) for its support in bringing this much-needed housing to the senior population of Hudson.”
The senior housing is expected to be completed within 12 months.
To fund the $11.3 million development, the team was awarded low-income housing tax credits from NCHFA and purchased by Regions Affordable Housing, which generated $6.7 million in capital contributions. Other financing includes a $2.2 million U.S. Department of Agriculture Section 538 guaranteed loan from Churchill Stateside Group; $2.1 million from NCHFA-administered loan programs, including the Workforce Housing Loan Program and Rental Production Program; and $300,000 in HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds provided by the Western Piedmont Council of Governments Unifour Consortium.
“With the 9% tax credits being such a competitive process, we are proud to have received an award for the Kirkwood Grove project, said Robert Jolly, executive vice president of Weaver-Kirkland Development. “The Greystone team has made the process from preliminary application to closing a smooth one. Weaver-Kirkland is proud to have them as a partner on this project and look forward to future opportunities together.”
A second collaboration between the two firms, The Havens at Oxford, a 60-unit affordable senior community to be constructed in Oxford, North Carolina, is in the predevelopment phase with a closing anticipated in 2022.
Greystone is also looking at other opportunities as it builds its new construction business. “We want to expand in a smart, thoughtful way,” Eastwood says.
She tells Affordable Housing Finance that the initial plan is to close about four of five new deals each year, mostly in the Southeast, where the firm has a strong presence.
“We have a drive and a passion to add to the housing stock,” Eastwood says.
Greystone’s new developments will likely be done in collaboration with local partners.
“Partnerships have been at the forefront of our business model since day one,” says Will Eckstein, senior vice president, business development. “When we look at what partnerships look like, they change, they evolve. We embrace that from a business model. Real estate is a local business.”
Coming in and telling people how they should do things isn’t what Greystone does, he says.
However, the firm can be involved in different ways, including working with larger affordable housing developers to help move forward their pipeline of projects as well as assisting smaller nonprofits that may not have a full balance sheet or a development expert on staff, Eckstein says.
At the same time the company moves into new development, it will continue its preservation work.
“A core part of our business is still going to be rural preservation,” Eastwood says. “That’s still going to be the main staple of what we do. We’re excited about the pending legislation, the housing provisions that are in the Build Back Better bill. It’s historic for the housing side, but it’s also historic for rural development funding that’s in there as well.”
Greystone Affordable Development, an affiliate of Greystone, has developed approximately 14,500 apartment homes with another 5,800 in various stages of completion in 12 states. The group’s mission is to create meaningful and significant impacts on communities by helping to provide low-wealth households with decent, safe, and affordable housing.