San Antonio Housing Authority, Mission DG chosen as partners on $51M Granada Homes rehab

by Ben OlivoOctober 11, 2020
The Granada apartments located at 311 S. St. Mary's St. Photo taken Sept. 1, 2020.
The Granada building first opened in 1928 as the Plaza Hotel. By Ben Olivo | Heron

The San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) has been given permission to pursue subsidies that would help renovate the 1920s, 12-story Granada Homes senior apartment building at South St. Mary's and Villita streets.

The SAHA board of commissioners on Thursday voted to allow the agency to pursue 4% low-income housing tax credits and up to $30 million in tax-exemption bonds toward the rehab of the Granada’s 249 units at 311 S. St. Mary's St.

The $51 million project is a partnership between the Granada’s owner, a local affiliate of D.C.-based AFL-CIO, SAHA and Mission DG, a local developer that’s partnering with SAHA on the mixed-income Tampico Apartments on the West Side.

A total of 94 vouchers will help keep affordability levels low and current residents in place, according to SAHA.

The income mix of the current residents being served is unclear, as is the income mix of the apartments after rehab.

"We will have to verify the incomes of the current residents," Tim Alcott, SAHA's real estate and legal services officer, said in an email. "Most of the residents are 30% (area median income) and below. We will continue to serve the current residents."

According to SAHA's meeting agenda, "It is proposed that all 249 units be reserved for tenants whose incomes average 60% or less of the average median income."

In the San Antonio-New Braunfels area, a person at 30% of the area median income, or AMI, makes $15,120, while a couple makes $17,280, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Roughly 20% of the units will be rehabbed at a time, according to SAHA. All units will have rent restrictions, and will accept the Section 8 voucher, according to SAHA.

The local AFL-CIO affiliate, registered as Granada Trades Council Housing, Inc. on local property records, selected SAHA after initiating a bidding process, Alcott said.

“Several respondents approached SAHA to be a partner to assist with the affordable housing aspect of the project,” Alcott said.

Mission DG, he said, was selected by the AFL-CIO affiliate as SAHA’s partner on the project. According to SAHA, Mission DG is acting as the developer and guarantor of the loans, and will contribute debt and equity into the rehab—although it’s unclear how much.

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The tax credits and bond allocation may not be awarded by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs until the end of the year, according to the meeting agenda.

The Granada building first opened as the Plaza Hotel in 1928. It's one of the few downtown buildings reserved for senior living. SAHA owns two others: The Lofts at Marie McGuire Apartments, 211 N. Alamo St., and the Villa Hermosa Apartments, 327 N. Flores St.

The Granada was converted into a seniors community by the AFL-CIO in 1968.

» Granada building could get major renovation via SAHA partnership (Sept. 4, 2020)

Heron Editor Ben Olivo can be reached at 210-421-3932 | | @rbolivo on Twitter

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