2014 LIHTC Development that Best Reflects Market Success in Overcoming Significant Obstacles

Winner

Murphy Lane

Developer: Rosedale Corporation
Owner: Murphy Lane LP
Location: Holly Springs, Miss.

2014 Developments of Distinction Honorable Mention Significant Obstacles Murphy Lane

The winner of the 2014 LIHTC Property that Best Reflects Market Success in Overcoming Significant Obstacles Award is Rosedale Corporation for the development of Murphy Lane in Holly Springs, Miss. Murphy Lane, which was funded by low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs), is a 36-unit community that serves the local disabled and senior population. Stewart Rutledge, principal at Rosedale Corporation, says Murphy Lane had more than 100 people on its waiting list before construction and was fully leased upon opening.

Rosedale Corporation faced significant obstacles in receiving funding for Murphy Lane. Rutledge says that because Holly Springs suffered from economic blight after the civil rights movement, investors were not initially interested in funding this development. When the development was conceived, analysts couldn’t find anyone in the county whose income qualified for tax credit housing and who didn’t already receive voucher-based government housing. In addition to all of the affordable rental units being fully government subsidized, the local railroads and businesses were beginning to close down in the city, and the area median income was well below national averages. One in four residents of the city and county collected disability benefits.

Rosedale Corporation used innovative strategies to convince investors to fund Murphy Lane. Rutledge says development team members made daily trips to Rust College, a local university, and strengthened their relationship with local community leaders to rally community support for Murphy Lane. Developers invited investors to tour the community and they partnered with a local housing authority, which committed to providing a rental subsidy to all residents of Murphy Lane for five years. After using these creative approaches, and agreeing to deferred developer fees, reduced rents and providing additional guarantees, Murphy Lane received funding from Stratford Capital.

In addition to affordable housing, Murphy Lane also offers educational and social services. The community of Murphy Lane features a computer room, specially equipped units to address severe disability needs and educational courses that include topics ranging from personal finance to health and nutrition. Rosedale Corporation has also partnered with several local universities to offer outreach programs that promote growth for their residents.

Rutledge says the development of Murphy Lane encouraged two additional tax credit developments in the area. One of the developments features 56 affordable rental units and has a 500-person waiting list. Rosedale Corporation also partnered with the governor to create a Health Care Zone Master Plan, which will foster health care growth in the city.

“A successful development in a small town which really seemed to come together against all odds,” said James Tassos, a 2014 Community Development Awards judge.

Honorable Mention

Schmidt Artist Lofts

Developer: Dominium
Owner: St. Paul Leased Housing Associates IV LP
Location: St. Paul, Minn.

2014 Developments of Distinction Honorable Mention Significant Obstacles Schmidt Artist Lofts

The honorable mention for the 2014 LIHTC Property that Best Reflects Market Success in Overcoming Significant Obstacles Award is Dominium, for the development of Schmidt Artist Lofts in St. Paul, Minn. Over the course of five years, Dominium used $3.4 million in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) to transform the historic Schmidt Brewery into 260 affordable live-work apartments and townhomes for local artists.

Because Schmidt Brewery is made of more than 20 additions to the original structure–each with different floor and ceiling heights, construction and structural systems and piping–the redevelopment required a creative approach to unify the buildings while preserving their historic character. The architects solved this complex problem by grouping multiple buildings into related zones, then positioning horizontal connections and hallways that followed the historic fabric of the buildings.

“A complete no-brainer. The most stunning tax credit project I have seen in 20 years in this business. Combine that with the complexity of the financing, multiple buildings, mishmash of floor plans, etc. and this is the complete package,” said Tom Dixon, a 2014 Community Development Awards judge.

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