Affordable housing near Pearl obtains crucial funding, land

by Ben OlivoAugust 2, 2018

The Alamo Community Group (ACG), a local nonprofit developer of affordable housing, today closed on two properties on which rare downtown affordable housing will be built. The $17.5 million project, known as the Museum Reach Lofts, totals 94 units and will sit on a .6-acre piece of land on the southeast corner of North St. Mary's Street and Jones Avenue, a few blocks north of the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Last week, the ACG was awarded $1.2 million in low-income housing tax credits for the project from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

Of the 94 units, only eight will be leased at market-rate prices — between $830 for a studio and $1,455 for a two bedroom. The other 86 units will serve households making between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) — which is $63,500 for a family of four. For example, if a family of four made 50 percent AMI ($31,500), they could rent a two-bedroom apartment for $715 a month. If a single person made 30 percent AMI ($13,350), they could rent a studio for $333.

The lofts are intended to attract people who work in the service industry or lower-paying office jobs downtown. The ACG also owns the low-income Calcasieu Apartments at 214 Broadway.

ACG anticipates construction to begin in January, and to complete the apartments in 2020.

"This project is going to be transformational for the affordable housing market, especially considering that many properties that were once affordable are being bought and converted to market-rate housing and forcing families and individuals out of their communities," Jennifer Gonzalez, Alamo Community Group's executive director, said in a press release.

Aside from the low-income housing tax credits, ACG is seeking $2.8 million for the cost of the land from the Midtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ), though its board won't review the application until mid-September, city officials said.

The nonprofit also has talked to city officials about housing incentives. The city's Center City Housing Incentives Policy (CCHIP) expired in June, and officials are getting ready to release a new policy, one that favors affordable housing efforts at the behest of Mayor Ron Nirenberg, on Aug. 7 to the Economic and Community Development Committee.

The city and ACG were in preliminary talks regarding a $564,000 development loan, but there's been no update since the Heron reported the figure in late June, said John Jacks, director of the Center City Development and Operations Department.

Previousy published:
Museum Reach Lofts to offer true affordability

Featured photo by Ben Olivo | San Antonio Heron

Contact Ben Olivo: 210-421-3932 | | @rbolivo on Twitter

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