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San Antonio City Council OKs Affordable Housing Concept by Brooks on City-Owned Land

Feature Photo: The City of San Antonio street maintenance yard at South New Braunfels Avenue north of Brooks would have to be demolished if Franklin Development Properties gets its financing approved for Greenline North, an proposed affordable workforce housing community. Image: Google Streets.

Posted: 12-13-2019

by Adolfo Pesquera

San Antonio (Bexar County) — City Council approved a resolution in support of an affordable housing project near Brooks City Base that, if financed, will be built on 12.5 acres of city-owned land.

The resolution of “No Objection” was on behalf of Franklin Development Properties Ltd., a San Antonio-based developer of multifamily communities that has specialized in low and mixed income projects. The resolution, which was approved on a consent agenda, is a requirement on an application to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) for qualification of the non-competitive 4% housing tax credit finance program.

The name of the project is Greenline North and the project takes its name from The Greenline linear park. Although not within Brooks, the property is directly across Southeast Military Drive from the Brooks northern boundary and it is physically in line with where The Greenline park ends.

The proposed project site is currently operating as a public works yard for the city’s street maintenance division and has an address of 7402 S. New Braunfels Avenue. The City of San Antonio issued a request for proposals to developers to construct an affordable workforce housing community consistent with a voter-approved Neighborhood Improvements Bond program.

Franklin Development was the selected provider of that RFP. According to their proposal, Greenline North will have 292 rental units and the structures will comply with the green building objectives of the city’s Tomorrow Sustainability Plan.

Should Franklin obtain the tax credit financing from the TDHCA, the award has a value of $17.6 million over a 10-year period. The total construction cost for Greenline North has been estimated at $52.2 million.

The TDHCA Governing Board is anticipated to consider the application in April 2020. If approved, construction may begin as early as July 2020 and reach completion by January 2022.

Franklin has offered to use income averaging to maximize the utility of the tax credit. This would be only the fifth 4% tax credit project in San Antonio to use income averaging.

Typically, 4% tax credit projects served families earning 60% of the area median income. Through income averaging, a developer uses a range of incomes that may be as high as 80% AMI and as low as 20% AMI. This is possible provided the average income of the tenant population doesn’t exceed 60% AMI.

Franklin submitted the following calculation for its income averaging mix:

Greenline North Income Average Mix