8 Oct, 2018

$7.4M housing development in Charlotte still under construction already has a wait list

CHARLOTTE – When a three-story low-income senior housing complex under construction a block from the city’s downtown opens in April it may be completely occupied.

The $7.4 million development already has a waiting list of 81 prospective renters interested in the 40 one-and-two-bedroom apartments being built on the long-time grocery store site.

The high interest in the complex, dubbed Edmond Senior Apartments, is proof of a need for affordable senior housing in the area, said Elizabeth Heintzleman.

“We rarely have a wait list this size,” Heintzleman, development director for Indianapolis-based TWG Development, said. “It will probably be one of our fastest lease ups.”

Community leaders say the project, funded in part through $7 million in state tax credits awarded last summer, addresses a need for convenient, affordable housing for aging residents.

They also believe it could bring more foot traffic to Charlotte’s downtown businesses when it opens.

Construction of the complex in the 200 block of South Washington Street began in the spring.

TWG Development, a company that’s also developing a mixed-income family housing project at the former Michigan School for the Blind site in Lansing, bought the property from Community of Christ Church for $449,000.

The 55,000-square-foot complex is being built on two acres off South Washington Avenue, where a 27,264-square-foot building that’s housed two different grocery stores — Carter’s Foods and later the Charlotte IGA — was demolished.

When it’s finished the development will offer apartments with their own washers and dryers that range from 712 to 1,300 square feet. They’ll rent for between $380 to $850 a month depending on a person’s income, Heintzleman said.

Plans for the complex include an outdoor picnic area, green space, carports, a community room, business center and bike-sharing program with bikes available for check-out by its residents, Heintzleman said.

Since news of the project was announced Charlotte’s Community Development Director Bryan Myrkle said  he’s forwarded the names of between 20 to 30 people who want to live there to TWG Development officials.

“My impression is that they’re probably all people from Charlotte,” Myrkle said. “There’s been a lot of interest.”

Charlotte Mayor Tim Lewis said the long waiting list of prospective renters surprises him. The city has a handful of senior apartments, he said, but the demand for units in the new development is a sign more is needed.

“I guess I’m surprised by the numbers but at the same time I understand why people find it attractive,” Lewis said. “We think it’s a real positive thing for downtown, a positive development. People will be able to walk from the development to the downtown, to the pharmacy and other businesses downtown.”

The interest doesn’t surprise Dillon Rush, executive director for CharlotteRising, a nonprofit aimed at reviving the city’s downtown.

Rush said the city’s core needs more housing options.

Rush believes Edmond Senior Apartments will have a “quick and impactful” affect on the local economy. Its residents will shop at the stores off South Cochran Avenue, Rush said, and he believes it will raise area property values and spur more growth in the city.

“They’re a two-minute walk from the heart of our downtown community,” he said. “Right away we’re going to feel it downtown.”

On Tuesday morning, just before 8 a.m., construction workers could be seen working inside the complex from the large windows facing South Washington Avenue.

The building is enclosed and crews are focusing on the interior, Heintzleman said.

The project is on schedule, she said, and staff are still welcoming names to the growing wait list of prospective renters.

“We’re excited to see so many people,” Heintzleman said. “We knew it was a really good location but this confirms that.”

Original article here.