Corpus Christi: Council Slated to Approve Senior Housing Development
Feature Photo (above): The South Bluff Apartments, built in 1982, will be demolished if an Austin developer is able to proceed with a senior housing project. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Corpus Christi (Nueces County) — City Council will consider approval Tuesday of a zoning change that would permit an affordable, high-density senior housing development near downtown.
Madhouse Development, an Austin-based residential developer, obtained by proxy a recommendation May 15 from the Planning Commission for a zoning change that will provide for a 42-unit, four-story senior housing complex at 509 Carancahua Street. The owner/seller of the property, Advance Housing Alternatives Corporation, made the zoning request.
The property is already partially zoned for multifamily development, but the existing apartment complex, South Bluff Apartments, has 35 units on slightly more than 1 acre.
Concept site plan for Avanti at South Bluff. Courtesy: Madhouse Development.
Andrew Dimas of the city’s Development Services Department said the prospective developer wanted to change the zoning to CR2 (commercial resort district), which allows the highest density level allowed by ordinance.
Madhouse Development’s principal, Henry Flores, proposed to raze the existing complex. It was built in 1982, but the lot has been zoned for multifamily since the 1940s when zoning was first introduced in Corpus Christi, Dimas said.
The commission noted that a 42-unit complex requires 77 parking spaces but the conceptual site plan only has 52. Asked how Madhouse Development would cure this, Dimas said they would either have to get a variance or reach an accommodation with the First Presbyterian Church of Corpus Christi, which owns a parking lot across the street.
Madhouse created a limited partnership, Avanti at South Bluff LP, to act as buyer of the property, which is under contract.
The draft elevations for Avanti at South Bluff. Courtesy: Madhouse Development.
In February, Madhouse obtained an endorsement from City Council to fulfill a community involvement requirement in their application to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Madhouse is seeking 9% low income housing tax credit financing from TDHCA to ensure affordable rents for the project.
If Madhouse is awarded the tax credit, it will be able to offer units to seniors at 60 percent or less of the Area Median Income. Avanti at South Bluff is one of three multifamily projects in Corpus Christi seeking the award and only one is likely to get it.
Clubhouse floor plan for the Madhouse Development project at 509 Carancahua Street.
Madhouse has estimated the cost of demolition, grading and other civil engineering work at $627,480. The construction cost estimate is more than $4 million and the total development cost estimate is about $11 million, according to filings with the TDHCA.
The existing South Bluff Apartments were once owned by the Corpus Christi Housing Authority and 100 percent of the units were available for subsidized rents under a Section 8 contract. That expired in 2014.
The new building would have a gross area of 11,679 square feet. Its unit mix provides for floor plans and area spaces would range from 656 square feet to 911 square feet. There will also be a 2,018-square-foot clubhouse with amenity room, library, foyer and leasing office.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) 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.