CLEVELAND PIRHL, a 6-year-old affordable housing development firm, is about to make its mark in its hometown. The company has three projects in various stages in the Cleveland area—the 44-unit Library Court Senior Apartments in Shaker Heights, the 48- unit Church Square Commons project along Cleveland’s key Euclid Corridor, and a deal that will bring 40 aff ordable single-family homes to a three-block region in the city’s St. John’s Village West.
Led by the two Davids—Principals David Burg and David Uram—the young company has completed 12 developments with nearly 500 units in Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and downstate Ohio.
The latest deals are the first for PIRHL (The Partnership for Income Restricted Housing Leadership) in its own backyard.
They also provide a look into the company’s overall strategies. Nineteen of PIRHL’s first 20 developments include a nonprofit joint-venture partner, a trend that continues in Cleveland.
“Only a local eye can best inform," Burg says. “PIRHL’s philosophy is that, with an experienced local partner, the end product may be harder to achieve but is invariably more exceptional."
Both Burg and Uram worked in the nonprofit sector at community development and public policy organizations. They also have for-profit experience, having worked at The NRP Group.
For-profit PIRHL teamed with three diff erent nonprofits on its latest projects.
Working in partnership with the Jennings Center for Older Adults, PIRHL is on pace to complete Library Court in September. The project will bring aff ordable seniors housing to one of the most affluent communities in the region, according to Uram.
The $7.3 million project is financed largely with low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) syndicated by the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH).
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), which allocated the credits, also provided $2.3 million in tax credit exchange funds and a $500,000 Tax Credit Assistance Program loan. Cuyahoga County contributed $350,000 in HOME funds.
The $9.4 million Church Square Commons is scheduled to be completed in December. It is located on Euclid Corridor, the focus of an ambitious $220 million transit improvement and redevelopment effort.
Two long-vacant apartment buildings were knocked down to make way for the new housing. PIRHL is partnering with Famicos Foundation on the development, which is using $6.7 million in LIHTC financing from OCCH, $1.8 million in exchange funds from OHFA, and $600,000 from the Cleveland Housing Trust Fund.
Both of these developments are in strong locations, says Jack Kukura, chief of acquisitions at OCCH.
“For a younger company, PIRHL understood how important their first few deals were, and they hit the ball out of the park,” he adds.
PIRHL will also begin construction on St. John’s Village West Family Homes this summer. The firm is working with Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc., on the single-family home project. PNC Real Estate syndicated the LIHTCs to provide $7.3 million in equity. Other financing partners include OHFA and the Cleveland Housing Trust Fund.
These deals show the type of housing the firm builds. About half of PIRHL’s overall work is in aff ordable multifamily seniors properties, with the rest split between aff ordable single-family homes and townhomes.