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Austin: Six Affordable Housing Projects Bid for City Grants

05/17/2017 02:47:00 pm | Viewed: 480

Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange


LifeWorks plans to add another apartment building on its east Austin campus at 2800 Lyons Road.


Posted: May 17, 2017, 4:36 p.m.

by Adolfo Pesquera

Austin (Travis County) - The Housing Bond Review Committee will meet Monday to review grant applications on six proposed affordable housing projects.

Five local developers have submitted six projects, of which five are multifamily apartment communities and one a single-family subdivision. The May 22 public meeting begins at 3 p.m. The HBRC is charged with reviewing applications to be funded with General Obligation Bond funds, and to ensure applications are scored in compliance with guidelines of the Rental Housing Development Assistance program.

The fund requests for most of the projects represent a small fraction of total project cost, however, the funding is often critical in leveraging financing from banks and/or philanthropic foundations.

The projects are:


Aria Grand Apartments

Saigebrook Development LLC proposes a 70-unit complex on a 1.42-acre site in Travis Heights at the southwest corner of Interstate 35 and Woodland Avenue. The estimated construction cost is just under $10 million and total estimated cost, as reported in the application, is a little over $17.5 million.

Aria Grand is also seeking a $1.2 million, 9 percent Housing Tax Credit from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Saigebrook is in line to receive most of its financing from Wells Fargo and Mason Joseph Company Inc.

Sixty of the 70 units have been reserved to help families earning below the area median income (AMI). Six units are dedicated to those earning less than 30 percent of AMI; 29 are for those earning from 30 to 50 percent of AMI; 32 are for those earning from 50 to 60 percent of AMI. There is a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units in each category.

Mueller Apartments


Foundation Communities plans to locate a 132-unit complex at the future northwest corner of Philomena Street and Tilley Street in the Mueller master planned development northeast of downtown.

Projected hard costs for this project have been estimated at $20,031,314, with total costs at almost $26.7 million. Foundation Communities is also seeking a $1.5 million, 9 percent Housing Tax Credit from the TDHCA.

"Mueller is an ideal location for families as a pedestrian and bike-friendly neighborhood with easy acess to dining, shopping and recreation," the developer states in the application. "Open spaces, trails and playgrounds abound. Unlimited employment opportunities are available within steps of the apartments, as well as convenient proximity within minutes of downtown Austin."

The units are to be apporionted by income as follows: Ten percent of the units go to tenants earning less than 30 percent of AMI; 50 percent of units go to those earning between 30 and 50 percent of AMI; 40 percent of units go to those earning from 50 to 60 percent of AMI.

There are 40 one-bedroom units, 62 two-bedroom units, and 30 three-bedroom units.

The Nightingale Apartments


DMA Companies plans a 174-unit complex at the southwest quadrant of the Nuckols Crossing Boulevard and Vertex Boulevard intersection. The Nightingale will be age-restricted to seniors. It is in the Goodnight Ranch PUD near Onion Creek.

DMA describes the location as "amenity rich, with over 120 acres of green spaces and 3 miles of trails."

The buildings will include a single three-story, elevator-served building, and seven single-story cottage style units. There will be a mix of one-bedroom units in the range of 730 to 878 square feet each, and two-bedroom units in the range of 945 to 1,219 square feet.

Thirty-four percent of the units will go to tenants with incomes below 60 percent of AMI; 39 percent of units will go to tenants with incomes between 50 and 30 percent of AMI; and 8 percent of units will go to tenants with incomes below 30 percent of AMI. There will be 34 market rate units.

Saltillo Apartments


Another DMA Companies development, Saltillo Apartments is a component of the much larger mixed-use transit-oriented development being built for Cap Metro. It is located at 5th Street and Navasota immediately west of the Plaza Saltillo Station.

This is a 90-unit development that consists of a five-story, elevator-served building with parking and a retail/amenity space on the ground floor.

Construction costs are estimated at about $15 million. Of that, JP Morgan Chase Bank is providing $8 million. Investor equity is more than $4.4 million and the request from the city is $2 million.

The distribution of units by income is 24 percent of units to those earning from 50 to 60 percent of AMI; 63 percent of units to those earning 30 to 50 percent of AMI; and 12 percent going to those earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

The Works at Pleasant Valley Phase II


LifeWorks Affordable Housing Corp. wants to add 29 units to an existing campus at 2800 Lyons Road. The $1.85 grant request represents almost half of the total estimated project cost of $3.8 million.

This project is for an especially high-risk population-homeless children and youths that have aged out of the foster care or juvenile probation system, teen parents and young single heads of household.

"The LifeWorks Affordable Housing Corp. will partner with Youth and Family Alliance, doing business as LifeWorks, to provide all residents with the following services as needed: case management, mental health counseling (including crisis counseling and psychiatric services), workforce development, GED preparation and life skills training," the LAHC application states.

LifeWorks also has a housing tax credit financing request in with the TDHCA for an $800,000 credit.

Scenic Point Subdivision Phase II

Austin Habitat for Humanity Inc. is requesting $2,520,110 in order to complete a subdivision southwest of Johnny Morris Road and Point North Drive.

"We anticipate developing the 14-acre site and build 67 single-family homes," the applicant states.

The two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes would have market rate values of from $205,000 to $240,000, but will be sold at zero percent interest for between $120,000 and $169,000.




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Adolfo Pesquera

Adolfo Pesquera is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.