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2009 LIHTC Development that Best Reflects Market Success in Overcoming Significant Obstacles


Blue Ribbon Loft Apartments

Developer: Gorman & Company
Location: Milwaukee, Wis.

Blue Ribbon Loft ApartmentsWhen the famous Pabst Brewery closed its doors in 1996, all 26 buildings stood vacant and the site became a source of blight in the community. In 2005, a local developer attempted to revitalize the building as an entertainment and retail destination. The attempt foundered when the Common Council rejected the requested TIF of $41 million. In 2006, Milwaukee real estate investor and developer Joseph Zilber purchased the entire Pabst site, and obtained $29 million in TIF from the city for demolition, environmental cleanup and construction of new streets, sewers and other public improvements. The TIF money was used to reconnect the property to the street grid and to turn over clean buildings to the sub-developers that would develop individual buildings.

Even with an experienced developer as the master developer and strong city support for the site, there was no development activity for two years. Gorman & Company purchased the building known as the Keg House, a functionally obsolete building in need of extensive environmental clean-up. The Keg House became known as Blue Ribbon Loft Apartments, a 95-unit mixed-income apartment building with 69 available to income-qualified families and individuals making 50 to 60 percent of the area’s median income. As the first completed building on the site, Blue Ribbon Loft Apartments helped jump start the redevelopment of the entire parcel.

Project Team: Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority; Great Lakes Capital Fund; City of Milwaukee; Gorman & Company; Mohs MacDonald Widder; Suby Van Haden and Associates.

Honorable Mention

Red Hawk Apartments

Developer: Color Country Community Housing Inc.
Location: Springdale, Utah

Red Hawk Apartments 4Springdale, Utah had an affordable housing crisis. Land prices skyrocketed, the economy was centered on tourism and its historic low wages; workers could not afford to pay for housing. Color Country Community Housing Inc. (CCCHI) partnered with the town to provide affordable housing. After submitting applications in three LIHTC allocation rounds, CCCHI received $308,625 from the Utah Housing Corporation (UHC) in 2006.

Early in 2007, an omission was discovered that put the project in a FEMA flood plain; hydrology studies revealed it was not; however, a FEMA Letter of Map Revision was needed before construction could proceed. Sixteen months later, in March 2008, FEMA clearance was received but the construction deadline was December 31, 2008. Renegotiations took place; the Utah Community Reinvestment Corporation provided loan guarantees and a construction loan; and Kier Construction stepped in with additional construction guarantees. Ribbon was cut for 24 apartments on December 5.

Project Team: Enterprise Community Investment Inc.; American Express; Color Country Community Housing Inc.; Utah Housing Corporation; Utah Community Reinvestment Corporation; State of Utah-Department of Community and Culture; Town of Springdale; Rural Community Assistance Corp.; Kier Construction.

Honorable Mention

Renaissance Preserve Senior Apartments

Developer: Norstar Development USA, Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers
Location: Fort Myers, Fla.

Renaissance Preserve Senior ApartmentsFor three years, the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers submitted an application for a HOPE VI grant award to revitalize 470 aging, distressed public housing units in its Michigan Court family and Flossie Riley senior developments. Efforts culminated in a $20 million HOPE VI grant on October 25, 2005. The Housing Authority parted company with its development partner over the Master Development Agreement. In September 2006, Norstar Development USA, LP was selected.

In March 2007, application was made to Florida Housing Finance Corporation for a loan under a very competitive State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) program. Negotiations for a grocery store and medical clinic that met the definitions of services required for a senior development were successful and Renaissance Preserve Senior project received the largest single SAIL funding award ever made by FHFC, with $6.15 million under the SAIL program and $1.02 million in supplemental loan funds for a total of $7.17 million.

Project Team: Norstar Development USA; Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers; Florida Housing Finance Corporation; Housing Finance Authority of Lee County, Florida; RBC Capital Markets; Raymond James; Fugleberg Koch Architects; Brooks and Freund, LLC; Quattrone & Associates.

Return to 2009 Developments of Distinction Award Recipients

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