Brownfield help spurs two projects

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LINC Up, a nonprofit community development organization, filed a brownfield plan amendment for the West Garfield Apartments redevelopment project at 1975 and 1951 Jefferson Ave. SE.

West Garfield Apartments is a project primarily funded by low-income housing tax credits, which includes the construction of a new, three-story residential building with 26 rental units available to households earning 60% area median income or below. Six of the units will be available to households earning 30% AMI or below.

The total cost is anticipated to be $6.4 million with construction costs of $4.4 million. LINC Up will seek LEED Silver certification for the building. The developer plans to conduct environmental site assessment activities and demolish the existing parking lot, as well as site preparation activities and infrastructure improvements in the public right-of-way.

Total costs for these brownfield-eligible activities are estimated at $201,630. Pursuant to the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority’s Local Brownfield Revolving Fund Policy, these costs would be eligible for reimbursement under the LBRF grant program. The grant funding from the BRA would assist in closing the financing gap that remains after syndication of the tax credits.

LINC Up and Orion Construction broke ground on West Garfield Apartments in October, the same day the two organizations and other partners cut the ribbon on Garfield Park Lofts across the street.

Garfield Park Lofts was the first phase of LINC Up’s affordable housing project for Garfield Park residents, according to an earlier Business Journal report. The three-story building includes 36 units of affordable housing for households earning 60% AMI or less with 15 of the units available to households earning 30% or less.

The city commission also approved a brownfield plan amendment for a redevelopment project proposed at 1535 Steele Ave. SW. The developer, an entity affiliated with Legacy Steel, is proposing to develop a 2.2-acre vacant lot into a 25,500-square-foot industrial building. Legacy Steel would occupy approximately 45% of the building and the remaining 55% will be available for lease to other tenants. The developer estimates 17 full-time equivalent jobs will be created in connection with the project. Legacy Steel expects to create five jobs, and 12 jobs are expected to be created by new tenants.

The total estimated investment in the project is $2.1 million with hard construction costs of approximately $1.7 million. The developer is seeking reimbursement for brownfield-eligible activities totaling $337,340, including the cost of environmental site assessment activities, due care activities including a vapor barrier, site preparation and public infrastructure improvements. Reimbursement is expected to occur over a 12-year period with an additional five years of capture for the LBRF.

The environmental concerns identified at the property will be dealt with during the project, and the applicant is current on its tax liabilities to the city. The project is permitted in the zoning district. The project was reviewed by the city’s economic development project team Sept. 10, and the BRA approved and recommended the brownfield plan amendment at its meeting on Sept. 25.

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