Company talks building affordable housing in East Spencer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 2, 2020

By Shavonne Potts

EAST SPENCER — A local company says it wants to partner with the town of East Spencer to develop 25 to 45 single-family homes.

Salisbury resident Whitney Peckman and Nan Lund spoke Tuesday to the East Spencer town board on behalf of Make a Difference 365 (MaD365), a Salisbury-based company. Peckman said they’ve submitted a letter of intent from the owner to allow them to purchase five acres at 410 Andrews St., a property that has been vacant for several years.

“We’re in the very, very beginning stages of a development plan for single-family housing on those five acres,” Peckman said.

Peckman said her group has worked with Brandon Emory, whose company Alliance Code Enforcement handles the town’s code enforcement. Since the property is close to Interstate 85, there are minimum setbacks that may be required, Emory said.

Emory said the proposed property use fits within the current zoning allowances and there will not be a need for a conditional-use permit. Emory said the zoning right now allows single-family home structures or duplexes.

Peckman said the group also has spoken with Town Administrator James Bennett about what they’d need to do to bring this project to fruition. Bennett gave the board an idea of the amount of tax revenue it could bring to the town.

If each home were about $100,000, it could net the town $650 in taxes per home, he said.

Alderman John Noble asked if the homes would be rental property. Peckman said they would be leases with an option to own.

Alderman Albert Smith asked exactly how many homes could be built. Peckman said a lot depends on what civil engineers and NCDOT says.

Peckman said current plans aren’t meant to be final. But Lund added, “We believe in this community.”

She said Make A Difference 365 is not only their company name; it’s also their mission.

“The goal is to make it possible for people to own a home,” Lund said.

Entrepreneur Chariel Dye is also part of the company, Peckman said.

The East Spencer board on Tuesday also heard from the Rev. Michael Mitchell and the Rev. Andrew Davis about the youth advisory committee the men have formed.

Mitchell asked the board to allow a trial run from September to November. He said the program would begin with a Sept. 19 three-on-three basketball kick-off event.

Davis asked if the town could do the initial clean-up of the town-owned, 1909 East building. The building is located across the street from town hall and is the former Rowan-Salisbury School Administration building and a former school.

Both Mitchell and Davis have said they wanted to create a safe haven for youth who have nothing to do because of current circumstances, including the COVID-19 pandemic.