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Two planned apartment complexes win federal tax credits

SALISBURY — Two new rent-controlled apartment complexes — one for families and another for seniors — have won federal tax credits and plan to break ground next year.
The Villas at Hope Crest will offer 55 one- and two-bedroom apartments on Lincolnton Road near the Time Warner Cable office for people ages 55 and older.
Sterling Trace will have 80 two- and three-bedroom units behind the Bank of North Carolina on West Jake Alexander Boulevard for families.
All tenants must qualify for certain income limits to live in the new complexes. Rent is typically no more than 60 percent of median income based on family size.
Sterling Trace would serve working families with incomes in a range that includes starting salaries for teachers, police officers and firefighters.
Westgate Commons, another campus-style apartment complex planned to go behind the new Aldi at Brenner Avenue and Jake Alexander Boulevard, did not win tax credits and has been scrapped.
Jud Little had proposed the $7 million rent-controlled development. “It was a considerable disappointment for me,” Little said.
When he didn’t win the tax credits, Little said he wanted to find alternate financing to go forward with the complex, but property owner Childress Klein had moved on.
“They have another buyer for the property, and they will proceed with that other group,” Little said.
A partner with Childress Klein in Charlotte did not return calls from the Post.
The N.C. Housing Finance Agency uses a complicated formula to award federal tax credits, and Little said he scored well but not well enough.
Salisbury has a significant need for apartments of all types, a recent study showed.
The local market can support 808 new government-subsidized units, 84 new affordable units and 119 new market rate units, according to an analysis completed within the past year for development of mixed income housing.
Salisbury is projected to experience moderate population growth until 2016, with most of the growth in the 55-plus age group, according to Bowen National Research, a real estate market research firm.
The 25-to-54-year-old age group will grow as well, adding to the increased demand for housing.
Most of the city’s existing rental housing is full. Overall, the occupancy rate for rentals is 91 percent, which is a moderate but stable rate for rental housing, the analysis said.
All of the government subsidized units are full, followed by existing tax credit units at 99 percent. The occupancy rate for market-rate units is 88 percent, although market rental housing built within the last five years has higher rates.
Details for Salisbury’s two new tax-credit developments include:
• Villas at Hope Crest for seniors on Lincolnton Road
Developer: Prosperity Unlimited Inc. of Kannapolis (nonprofit)
Won: $456,934 in federal housing tax credits
Total investment: $8 million
Other developments in Salisbury: Crosswinds off Jake Alexander Boulevard, also for seniors. Two tax credit complexes in Kannapolis.
Location: Salisbury seniors need more housing options, said Louise Mack, executive director for Prosperity Unlimited.
Mack also liked the accessibility of grocery stores and pharmacies near the intersection of Lincolnton and Mooresville roads.
Timeframe: Developers have not closed on the property yet and are still putting the numbers together, “but it’s a go,” Mack said.
Prosperity Unlimited will not take applications until a property management company is chosen, sometime next year.
• Sterling Trace for families on West Jake Alexander Boulevard
Developers: Pirhl Southeast of Greenville and Creative Development Group of Raleigh (for-profit)
Won: $701,284 federal housing credits
Total investment: $9.4 million
Other developments in Salisbury: None but plans to do more.
Location: The location has great visibility, said Dustin Mills, co-developer with Pirhl. Plans call for creating a “walkable” community that is connected to the nearby Food Lion and Family Dollar.
“It’s a vibrant market,” Mills said. “We are committed to doing multiple projects in Salisbury.”
Timeframe: Developers are within a month of submitting plans to the city and Rowan County for building and zoning permits. Construction should start in summer 2013 with a grand opening in early 2014.
It’s too soon to apply for housing. Developers will choose a management company and set income guidelines sometime next year.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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