Affordable Across America: Midwest

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50 Projects for 50 Years

PROJECT: Klingman Lofts | Grand Rapids, MI
Opened in 2015
DEVELOPER: LC Consultants; Ann Arbor, MI
FAVORITE OF: Daniel Kierce, Managing Director, Co-Head of Originations and Sales Ohio, RBC Capital Markets
DESCRIPTION: Less than a mile from downtown Grand Rapids, this adaptive reuse of a furniture factory is an example of the city’s revitalization of the south side. The project was split into two separate partnerships, each receiving a $1.5 million Low Income Housing Tax Credit allocation in 2013. Klingman Lofts I & II’s 83 one- and two-bedroom apartments are restricted to renters at 40 to 60 percent of area median income; two units at each phase have a preference for households with children. The property includes offices, recreational areas, community rooms, storage and surface parking.

The rehabilitation of this property was essential to complete the redevelopment of the South Division Street area. The Grand Rapids Downtown Market was built across the street and having a blighted, vacant building so close would hamper the marketability of that endeavor.  The redevelopment of Klingman Lofts not only took that blight away – but it created much needed affordable housing for the workers in the market district and downtown area. —DANIEL KIERCE

PROJECT: Leavenworth Building 19 | Leavenworth, KS
Opened in 2011
DEVELOPER: Pioneer Group; Topeka, KS
FAVORITE OF: Thom Amdur, President, National Housing & Rehabilitation Association
DESCRIPTION: The Leavenworth Building 19 previously served as a VA mess hall, and was targeted for demolition during a rationalizing period. The VA instead elected to use the existing building under an Enhanced Use Lease, which enables it to be used for VA functions in the future. Pioneer Group redeveloped the Eisenhower Ridge complex, of which the Leavenworth Building 19 is a part. The complex provides 45 affordable units, intended initially to include veterans’ housing that harkens back to its original purpose, along with other uses. Eisenhower Ridge includes several outdoor amenities, including bike storage and gardening areas. This project was financed through $12 million in bonds and $5 million in State and Federal Historic Tax Credits.

The revitalization of the Leavenworth VA campus was one of my favorite projects to earn NH&RA’s Timothy Anderson Award for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation. Originally built in 1887 to serve Disabled Veterans from the Civil War, the renovation of Building 19 continues that legacy providing services to the veterans of today. Furthermore, the unique partnership with the Department of Veterans of Affairs through an Enhanced Use Lease paired with Federal Historic Tax Credits is distinctive in its own right. —THOM AMDUR

PROJECT: Woodlawn Park Initiative | Chicago, IL
Completed 2018
DEVELOPER: Preservation of Affordable Housing; Chicago, IL
FAVORITE OF: Rodger Brown, Managing Director, Real Estate Development, Preservation of Affordable Housing
DESCRIPTION: In 2011, with the help of a strong coalition of community-based organizations and stakeholders, POAH and the City of Chicago received a HUD Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grant to support new and renovated housing and new business and employment opportunities for residents in the Woodland Park area. This led to more than $400 million in public and private investments.

Since the redevelopment of Grove Parc Plaza began, more than 1,000 mixed-income homes were created through a mix of new construction and the acquisition and rehabilitation of more than two dozen buildings across the community. Some 90,000 square feet of new commercial and community spaces were also developed, including the neighborhood’s first new grocery in decades and the Woodlawn Resource Center, an  8,000  square-foot community center offering social services, employment services and workforce development opportunities for the entire community. To date, more than 1,000 people have found work, or expanded their hours, through the Resource Center.

We think Woodlawn is a wonderful example of what can happen when a mission-oriented developer works collaboratively with the community from the outset, setting priorities, sharing a vision and putting in the hard work to pursue economic revitalization without displacement.” —RODGER BROWN

PROJECT: Denver Dry Goods Building | Denver, CO
Completed 1999
DEVELOPER: Jonathan Rose Companies; New York, NY
FAVORITE OF: Charles J. Perry, Managing Partner, Perry Rose
DESCRIPTION: The 100-year-old Denver Dry Goods Building in downtown Denver closed in 1987. Jonathan Rose Companies saw an opportunity to create a mixed-use development and utilized 23 sources of financing to convert the historic building into a project that includes: affordable and market-rate rental housing, market-rate condos, offices and three large retail stores occupying the basement, ground and second floors of the building. The project, developed in partnership with the Denver Urban Renewal Authority, inspired more than 20 other mixed-use/historic renovation projects in downtown Denver.

As a result of the success of the Denver Dry, 20 other historic buildings in downtown Denver were renovated utilizing the HTC/LIHTC/TIF financial model, resulting in increased residential development and the commercial revitalization of central downtown.” —CHARLES J. PERRY

PROJECT: Miriam Apartments | Chicago, IL
Opened in 2020
DEVELOPER: Mercy Housing Lakefront; Chicago, IL
FAVORITE OF: Mark Fogarty, Staff Writer, Tax Credit Advisor
DESCRIPTION: Mercy recapitalized and did a total historic rehab of the Miriam Apartments, a single-room occupancy (SRO) building dating back a century. It is a four-story building with 66 units of permanent supportive housing serving formerly homeless women. The rehab created studio apartments with individual bathrooms for the tenants, who struggle with homelessness and disabilities. A huge collage put together by the residents 15 years ago has been saved and divided so a portion is on each floor of the building.

Talk about the miracle of the loaves and the fishes! The developer turned 66 SROs into 66 studios, each with its own bathroom, without changing the dimensions of the original building.” —MARK FOGARTY

PROJECT: Schmidt Artist Lofts | St. Paul, MN
Opened in 2014
DEVELOPER: Dominium; Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis, Phoenix
FAVORITE OF: Mark Moorhouse, Managing Partner and Executive Vice President of Development, Dominium
DESCRIPTION: Schmidt Artist Lofts originally housed the bottle and brewing operations of its namesake, the Schmidt Brewery, in the early 1900s. Before Dominium transformed the property into live/work affordable artist housing, the structure had been vacant since 2002. Now, it features 247 individually unique studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom lofts and flats, as well as 13 three-bedroom townhomes, for artists of all kinds. Whether you’re walking through corridors, in your unit, or in the common spaces, you’re always surrounded by the historic fabric of the building.

This was a game-changing historic redevelopment for us that helped revitalize the West 7th Street neighborhood. We’re so happy to have worked with the City of St. Paul, the Minnesota Housing Financing Agency, the Metropolitan Council and others to bring this community to life.”   —MARK MOORHOUSE

PROJECT: Evergreen Village | Bloomington, IN
Opened in 2018
DEVELOPER: Evergreen Partners; Maine, Massachusetts, Florida
FAVORITE OF: Michael Binette, Senior Partner and Managing Principal, The Architectural Team, Inc.
DESCRIPTION: Evergreen Village successfully utilized a combination of capital and operational funding sources to create a new 115-unit assisted living facility specifically designed to provide low- and moderate-income seniors an opportunity to not only gracefully age in place within a warm, residential environment, but allow them to do so in a vibrant community-oriented setting. Residents live independently within their own apartment and on-going care is uniquely tailored to suit each individual’s needs even as these needs change through the aging process.

Working with Evergreen Partners in creating this new senior residence was really brought home for me when during the ribbon-cutting festivities, a resident approached me somewhat teary-eyed, to thank me for ‘the most beautiful home she had ever lived in.’  The joy and appreciation she expressed for her new home and all of her new friends will stay with me always.” —MICHAEL BINETTE

PROJECT:  Lockbourne Greene | Columbus, OH
Now under construction and due to open mid-2023
DEVELOPERS: Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. and Healthy Homes; Columbus, OH
FAVORITE OF: Jeffrey J. Woda, Chief Visionary Officer, Woda Cooper Companies, Inc.
DESCRIPTION: Lockbourne Greene is a 60-unit, general occupancy affordable community now under construction on Columbus’ South Side. In addition to one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, a fitness center and community room, Lockbourne Greene will feature an onsite early learning center for children ages six months to five years operated by a local nonprofit and provide access for resident families. There will also be onsite support services to address items, such as job skills and placement, financial literacy resources, wellness and nutrition classes and parenting enrichment resources. Woda Cooper is co-developing Lockbourne Greene with Healthy Homes, affiliated with nonprofit Community Development for All People and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Lockbourne Greene is an example of the tremendous results that are possible through strong collaboration and a shared vision to address the need for housing and services to build strong, healthy families.”—JEFFREY J. WODA

PROJECT: Hopeton Terrace | Chillicothe, OH
First opened in 1994, renovated in 2021
DEVELOPER: National Church Residences; Columbus, OH
FAVORITE OF: Matt Rule, Senior Vice President, National Church Residences
DESCRIPTION: Hopeton Terrace is a 46-unit senior affordable housing community built in 1994 using the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Project Rental Assistance Contracts (PRAC) 202 Program. Hopeton Terrace is the first affordable senior housing community in the nation to benefit from this unique “RAD for PRAC” preservation program offered by HUD. Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) for PRAC converts HUD Section 202 housing for low-income seniors into Section 8 units, allowing for capital to be raised for rehabilitation using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and other financing sources. Hopeton Terrace is a pioneer for the conversion process and a model for funding large-scale rehabilitation to preserve affordable housing that otherwise might be lost due to the high costs of maintaining aging properties. National Church Residences is one of the nation’s largest owners and managers of PRAC-subsidized residences with about 100 PRAC properties in its portfolio.

Hopeton Terrace set the stage for the conversions that followed, and the successful completion of this transformational preservation is an occasion to celebrate for all who worked for many years to implement the RAD for PRACs program.” —MATT RULE

PROJECT: The Gables | Greenwood, IN
Opened in 2020
DEVELOPER: Kittle Property Group, Inc.; Indianapolis, IN
FAVORITE OF: Jeffrey Kittle, President & CEO, Kittle Property Group, Inc.
DESCRIPTION: The Gables was built on the site of a failed condo development, which meant that Kittle Property Group had to work with existing infrastructure and established development standards, including the requirement for full masonry. The $31 million complex, which was bolstered by a Low Income Housing Tax Credit allocation, features 274 apartments in two- and three-story buildings, 28 of which are fully American’s Disability Act (ADA) compliant.

Our persistence and expertise, aided by a positive relationship with the City and Mayor, allowed us to bring 274 apartment homes to the suburban Indianapolis market. —JEFFREY KITTLE

Pamela Martineau is a freelance writer based in Portland, ME. She writes primarily about housing, local government, technology and education.
Mark Fogarty has covered housing and mortgages for more than 30 years. A former editor at National Mortgage News, he has written extensively about tax credits.