The Landings at Maysville High School
Developer: Wallick-Hendy Development Company, LLC
Owner: Wallick Asset Management LLC
Location: Maysville, Ky.
Wallick-Hendy Development Company LLC earned the award for the 2015 Historic Development that Overcame Significant Obstacles for rehabilitating an affordable rental housing development in Maysville, The Landings at Maysville High School, a formerly abandoned high school, provides 29 units of affordable housing for people of low to moderate income.
Alexis Dunfee, development associate at Wallick-Hendy Development Company, said that after years of disinvestment and mismanagement, the building's condition was in sharp decline and the development was unable to function at a sustainable level. The development team employed several creative solutions to restore the property and preserve affordable housing. By collaborating with the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC), developers were able to forgive existing HOME funds notes, while creating a financing structure that combined low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) with historic tax credits (HTCs). Rehabilitation included substantially upgrading the development with high-end finishes and fixtures, Wi-Fi capabilities, hardwood floors, Energy Star ceiling fans, water-conserving bath and sink fixtures, Energy Star heating and cooling, and enhanced security systems.
Wallick-Hendy also collaborated with a local nonprofit, Buffalo Trace Housing Corporation, to raise community awareness and support, as well as dispel negative public perception about the apartment complex. Buffalo Trace Housing Corporation helped the development team by advising on how to satisfy the needs of the local community, including selecting suitable outreach programs and services for the needs of existing and future residents. Dunfee said that as the building deteriorated and criminal activity increased around the apartments, residents began to leave, causing a large decrease in rental income. The growing negative perception of the building also dissuaded the city of Maysville from aiding the situation. To counter the building's increased vacancy and negative reputation, Buffalo Trace Housing Corporation held community engagement events to promote a positive image of the buildings, helping the development gain support from the city of Maysville and other local organizations.
"Through years of mismanagement and disinvestment, this property was in dire need of an expert team to restructure the existing debt … and give it a big dose of reinvestment. Through community support, the Kentucky Housing Corporation was convinced to forgive the existing HOME fund indebtedness, and the developer then utilized the HTC and state and federal LIHTC programs to fill the funding gaps that enabled the re-purposed school building to be brought up to standard for 29 units of affordable housing." – Paul Norris, Consortium Structured Investments