Construction begins on Labor Street mixed-income apartments in Lavaca

by Ben OlivoFebruary 3, 2021
Construction continues in January on the the mixed-income apartments on Labor Street. Photo by Ben Olivo | Heron

In December, the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) broke ground on a mixed-income apartment community in the Lavaca neighborhood with the placeholder name of 100 Labor Street.

The $53.7 million project is part of SAHA’s decades-long effort to redevelop 36 acres of land in Lavaca, south of East César E. Chávez Boulevard from the Institute of Texan Cultures and Hemisfair, into a master-planned community called Victoria Commons, where the Victoria Courts once stood.

The 213-unit project will include 169 market-rate units, 17 units for households making up to 50% of the area median income (AMI), and 27 for people making up to 30% AMI.

[ Scroll down for a chart showing various AMI levels. ]

It will also include roughly 5,600 square feet of retail space that’s meant to further tie Victoria Commons to the rest of Lavaca.

Last June, when SAHA was voting to push forward the deal between SAHA and developer Franklin Development Company, some commissioners pushed back and asked why there weren’t greater amounts of affordable housing baked into the apartment ratio. As it stands, nearly 80% of the apartments at 100 Labor Street will be market-rate priced. At the time, SAHA officials said the ratios were in line with what Lavaca neighbors demanded in 2013, before the current SAHA leadership was in place. Today, the tone has changed, as the Lavaca Neighborhood Association, at least, is now asking for greater percentages of below-market-rate housing as SAHA continues to build out the area.

Although the 44 units are not considered public housing, SAHA says they will serve "similar income levels" with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development initiative called project-based assistance contracts that are bound to 100 Labor Street. These residents will pay roughly 30% of their income toward rent.

[ Read more: "Ongoing since the Clinton administration, Victoria Commons final phases draw new concerns from Lavaca neighborhood" ]

In 1998, SAHA began its efforts to redevelop the area, most of which was home to the 600-unit Victoria Courts. Under the now-defunct Hope VI grant program, SAHA eventually demolished the public housing and began building mixed-income communities. The first was Refugio Place in 2004, followed by the Artisan Park townhomes in 2007. Today, SAHA estimates that there are 901 housing units at Victoria Commons either built, instigated or under construction. SAHA intends to increase that number to 1,555 with future developments in Lavaca.

Construction at 100 Labor Street is expected to be completed by December 2022.

The San Antonio Housing Authority is planning to build this 220-unit mixed-income development in the Lavaca neighborhood.
Victoria Commons master plan, San Antonio Texas, October 2020

100 Labor Street

» Address: 110 and 111 Labor Street
» Developer: Franklin Development Company (San Antonio), San Antonio Housing Authority
» Property owner: San Antonio Housing Authority
» Occupancy: N/A
» Rent or Buy: Rent
» Height: 5 stories
» Land size: nearly 3.5 acres
» Total units: 213
     » Market rate: 169
     » 80% AMI: N/A
     » 70% AMI: N/A
     » 60% AMI: N/A
     » 50% AMI: 17
     » 40% AMI: N/A
     » 30% AMI: 27
     » Student Units: N/A
» Section 8: Yes, will accept voucher
» Retail (s.f.): 5,604
» Office (s.f.): N/A
» Parking: 281 spaces
» Construction start date: Dec. 1, 2020
» Construction end date: December 2022
» Architect: Alamo Architects (San Antonio)
» Cost: $53.7 million
» Investors & Financing: $42 million HUD-insured 221(d)(4) loan (construction and permanent financing) via Red Capital an Orix Company; $5.3 million value of SAHA-owned land loaned to Franklin Development to "fund the costs of construction," which will be repaid through the project’s cash flow; $4.9 million in Moving-to-Work funds and other SAHA dollars to be loaned to Franklin Development via San Antonio Housing Facility Corporation (a SAHA entity), which will repaid via project’s cash flow.
» San Antonio Incentives: $1.5 million
     » SAWS Fee waivers: N/A
     » City Fee Waivers: N/A
     » City Loans: N/A
     » Est. City Property Tax Rebate: N/A
     » Other: $1.5 million via city’s Inner City Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ)
» Bexar County incentives: N/A
» Texas incentives: N/A
» Federal incentives: See HUD 221(d)(4) loan under "Investors & Financing"
» Return on investment: Franklin receives 50% cashflow for seven years, SAHA receives other 50%


Aug. 7, 2019

The Historic and Design Review Commission grants SAHA final approval for the 100 Labor Street project design. Read more.

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

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