The historic Miller-Roy Building will be remade into affordable housing in Monroe, Louisiana.
Land 3 Architect The historic Miller-Roy Building will be remade into affordable housing in Monroe, Louisiana.

Key financing has been secured for the construction of 48 multifamily housing units in a new building plus 18 additional units in the adaptive reuse of a historic building in Monroe, Louisiana.

Hunt Capital Partners announced that it has closed $6.4 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity and $2.4 million in state and federal historic tax credit equity for the project.

The historic three-story Miller-Roy Building, located southeast of downtown Monroe and dating back to 1929, will have two studio and 16 one-bedroom apartments and 3,851 square feet of commercial space on the first floor, while the newly constructed four-story Bayou Savoy Building will have 48 two-bedroom units.

The old building had been a center for Black-owned businesses in Monroe.

Being developed by Michael Echols Enterprises, the community will be home to residents with a wide range of incomes, from 20% of the area median income (AMI) up to 80% of the AMI. With the use of the income-averaging option in the LIHTC program, average AMI has been kept below the 60% threshold at 58.64%, according to project partners. Project-based rental assistance will be provided for the 24 of the 66 LIHTC units, and four of them will provide permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals.

“I am pleased this deal will preserve a building with such a diverse history of fostering successful businesses, professionals, and entertainers,” said Hunt Capital Partners executive managing director Dana Mayo. “These included a pharmacy, a barber shop, a newspaper, and offices for dentists, doctors, and others. In addition, the Miller-Roy Building provided a home, through its Savoy Ball Room, for great entertainers such as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Otis Redding, and many more.”The total development cost is $19.1 million. Lenders involved include Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust (a $9 million tax-exempt construction loan and a $1.55 million permanent loan) and Louisiana Housing Corp., with soft loans of $7.1 million and $1 million.

Unit amenities will include blinds, carpet/vinyl flooring, central air conditioning, and ceiling fans. Appliances will include refrigerators, ranges and ovens, dishwashers, garbage disposals, and in-unit washers and dryers.

Community amenities will include a business center/computer lab, a clubhouse/community room, a courtyard, elevators, an exercise facility, on-site management, and a playground. Service coordination and social services will be offered on the ground floor of the historic building, and will include vocational training, health care, and other services provided by the city of Monroe, Ouachita Parish, and nonprofit service firms.

Latter and Blum Property Management is the proposed management agent. The general contractor is Echo Build, and the prime subcontractor is Cook Construction. Land 3 Architects will be the architect. Construction is estimated to take 14 to 15 months.

Hunt Capital Partners plans to syndicate the federal LIHTC and historic credits through its multi-investor fund, Hunt Capital Partners Tax Credit Fund 43.