Victoria Receives First Affordable Housing Tax Credit Apartment Deal in 15 Years
Feature Illustration: Elevations of the buildings being planned for the Enchanted Gardens housing project in Victoria. Source: Northfield Design & Assoc.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Victoria (Victoria County) — The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Governing Board approved the award of a loan and a 4% housing tax credit for a 168-unit affordable housing project in Victoria.
The agreements that were voted on Thursday represent milestones for both the city and the TDHCA, the agency responsible for assisting developers that specialize in rent controlled housing for low income households. Marni Holloway, Director of Multifamily Finance at TDHCA, told the Governing Board that this was the first deal between the agency and the city to occur in 15 years.
Holloway also noted that, thanks to a rule change, this is the first new project to bundle an agency Multifamily Direct Loan with a 4% tax credit award. The tax credits are used by developers to obtain construction loans from lenders at more favorable rates.
The applicant, VTX Enchanted Gardens Ltd., applied for the $3 million loan and tax credit for Enchanted Gardens, a new construction development that will be located at 4600 N. Ben Jordan Street. This is an undeveloped 10-acre lot.
Victoria Housing Finance Corporation will be the bond issuer.
Enchanted Gardens will be comprised of 48 one-bedroom units; 72 two-bedrooms; and 48 three-bedrooms. Rent rates will vary from as low as 30% of area median income (AMI) to 80% of AMI. However, most of the units (157) will be to households earning 60% of AMI.
The site plan details include surface parking for 336 vehicles. The minority, 80 spaces, will be covered parking. The complex will have eight residential buildings that vary in height from two to three stories. There is also a 3,485 square-foot clubhouse next to an outdoor pool.
According to the developer’s project narrative, Enchanted Gardens will include green building features such as low flow toilets and faucets, energy efficient windows, energy efficient appliances, low VOC paints and adhesives, eco-friendly landscaping.
All apartment homes will have faux wood floors, some carpet in bedrooms, granite countertops, full size washer dryer connections, walk-in closets with built in shelving, and energy efficient ceiling fans in the living and bedroom areas. There will be cable, phone and internet connections in the living room and each bedroom.
The property will feature an array of common area amenities such as a fitness center, an upscale business center and/or library where the residents will have use of computers and WiFi, and community room with kitchen. Exterior amenities also include a dog park, garden area, and BBQ grill areas.
Building costs, including site work, have been estimated at approximately $18 million. Including the contingency account and soft costs, the total is about $22 million.
The development company of record, VTX Enchanted Gardens Development LLC, is a subsidiary of Realtex Development Corp. They are working with Northfield Design and Associates, a Austin-based architect; and Nations Construction LLC, a Houston-based general contractor. Carney Engineering of Plano was brought on to handle civil engineering.
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.