Cleveland-area affordable housing wins financing

The Walton Senior Apartments is proposed to be built on a vacant lot on Clark Avenue with access from Walton Avenue, west of Fulton Road. This project won conditional approval from the state for the coveted 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits (RDL). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Five Cuyahoga developments may proceed


While only one proposed affordable housing development in Cuyahoga County was awarded the coveted 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from the state, four others in the county got conditional approval, putting them in a good position to get financing in the near future. All five developments, if built, would add 247 total units of affordable housing in the county.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) last week approved financing for 11 housing developments throughout the state while granting conditional approval for another 24 developments statewide. The financing was the 9 percent LIHTC which subsidizes up to 70 percent of the construction costs of an eligible development project.

The 9 percent LIHTC is difficult to get. It is limited, competitive and divided among all states on a per capita basis. There is a lesser LIHTC of 4 percent which is automatically awarded to all eligible projects that apply. It subsidizes up to 30 percent of the construction costs of an eligible project.

Cuyahoga County’s only project to win was a small one — the Emerald Development and Economic Network Inc.‘s (EDEN) phase three affordable townhomes and apartments at 7812 Madison Ave. in Cleveland’s Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. The project will construct eight new units — four townhomes with exterior entries and four apartments that will share a common entry.

EDEN III affordable townhomes and apartments are planned next to phases one and two along Madison Avenue in Cleveland’s Cudell neighborhood. This project won the state’s highest award of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (DLZ).

This third phase will be built next to earlier phases; EDEN’s headquarters is located across the street. The townhomes will have a pair of two-bedroom units and as many three-bedroom units with independent entries. The buildings will be constructed of wood and have exterior finishes of brick and fiber cement siding along with vinyl windows and steel entry doors, according to plans filed with the city. Cost of the project is estimated at $1.2 million.

“EDEN Phase III has demolition scheduled for fall of 2024 and construction will most likely occur in the spring of 2025,” said EDEN Executive Director Elaine Gimmel.

Not far away is one of the four projects to earn conditional approval in Cuyahoga County. The Cleveland West Veterans Housing development is planned on 2 acres just north of Denison Avenue at 3311 W. 73rd St. in the city’s Stockyards neighborhood by CHN Housing Partners of Cleveland. The 62-unit, 54,581-square-foot, $20.28 million development is designed to serve veterans experiencing homelessness.

All of the units in the three-story apartment building will be one-bedroom homes. The Veterans Affairs Northeast Ohio Healthcare System will provide on-site supportive services to residents in a welcoming environment that is close in proximity to transportation, amenities and medical services. The facility will have a 24-hour front desk, community room, pantry/kitchen, laundry room, lobby/lounge, outdoor patio, exercise room, elevator, mailbox area and 29 parking spaces.

The Cleveland West Veterans Housing development is planned by CHN Housing Partners on West 73rd Street, just north of Denison Avenue. It will offer 62 one-bedroom apartments to local veterans experiencing homelessness (HDS).

A couple miles farther east, Volker Development Inc. of Wisconsin and Marous Brothers Construction of Willoughby plan to team up to build the Walton Senior Apartments, a $15.9 million project. Although no development site address was identified in their application, a notice to seek state financing was filed in February with Cleveland City Council shows it will be at 3517 Walton Ave. in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood.

That 0.2-acre site site hosts a single family home and is owned by the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp. The filing with city council notes that the new apartment will be built “on adjacent parcels in Clark Avenue.” Those vacant parcels, totaling about 0.7 acres, are owned by E&J Investments Properties.

A Taco Bell was planned to be built on them two years ago but never materialized. The site is next to a Rally’s fast food restaurant at the corner of Fulton with a Dollar General store behind it on Fulton.

It’s a long block west of another site that was proposed to gain affordable housing. Alta Villa Flats, a 50-unit apartment building, was proposed to be built by the Community Builders at the northwest corner of Clark and West 32nd Street. It was unable to gain financing.

The listed address of the proposed Walton Senior Apartments is the near house on Walton Avenue west of Fulton Road and north of Clark Avenue in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood. But the building may rise on Clark, behind these houses. The former Hildebrandt factory, now home to multiple businesses, is visible in the background (Google).

Volker has to yet respond to a NEOtrans inquiry to learn if there is a purchase agreement for the site. Such an agreement, or at least having a documented option to pursue one, is required by OHFA in order for an applicant project on that site to be eligible to receive a LIHTC award.

The Walton Senior Apartments would offer 52 housing units for seniors ages 55 and older with incomes between 30-70 percent of the area’s median income (AMI). The building’s amenities include a fitness center with senior-specific equipment, a community room with kitchenette, and enhanced site and building security. Proposed are 18 off-street parking spaces. The site is in the heart of Cleveland’s growing Latino community called La Villa Hispana.

“The project will capitalize on redevelopment efforts underway on the city’s Near West Side and its close proximity to Downtown Cleveland and the MetroHealth Medical Campus,” Volker said in its application to OHFA. “Walton Senior will provide wholistic, service-oriented housing for the senior tenant population, providing residents with a wide array of health, wellness and socialization services.”

The 70-unit second phase of the Churchill Gateway development in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood will rise next to the first phase on Churchill Avenue, southeast of the East 105th Street-Superior Avenue intersection (MA Design).

Across the Cuyahoga River, two affordable housing developments are seeking 9 percent LITHC reservations. The $20.8 million second phase of the Churchill Gateway development, 10700 Churchill Ave. in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood is planned by NRP Holdings LLC of Cleveland. A 70-unit, four-story apartment building would rise next to the 52-unit phase one on the site of the former Harry E. Davis Elementary School that closed in 2006.

“Churchill Gateway II will provide quality affordable housing in the fast-growing Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland,” wrote NRP Group in its OHFA proposal. “Churchill II will connect 70 households to the job center at University Circle that includes University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, and museums, restaurants and cultural amenities.

Residents of phase two will have access to community programming space in phase one, occupied by University Hospitals. Churchill II will have one-, two- and three-bedroom units that will be affordable to residents from 30-60 percent of AMI. The development will help provide sorely need housing to refugees and other new Americans to help support Cleveland’s return to population growth.

Proposed for the south side of Hough Avenue and east of East 89th Street, the Hough Senior Independent Living apartments will not only fill another vacant lot but fill a need for affordable housing in an area with fast-rising rents (HDS).

“NRP is thrilled to partner with The May Dugan Center, a Cleveland institution and certified refugee resettlement organization, to ensure that refugees, immigrants, and new Americans are connected to quality housing and services,” the application noted.

Like southern Glenville, housing is getting increasingly expensive in Hough due to its proximity to the growing employment centers of University Circle and Fairfax. So Hough Senior Independent Living is planned by CHN Housing Partners at 8910 Hough Ave. to provide 55 units of affordable housing for residents age 55 years and up.

This new, $17.5 million housing development will feature a single, approximately 47,000 square foot, 3-story apartment building with all one-bedroom units. Common areas for the development will include a community room, pantry/kitchen, laundry rooms, lobby/lounge, outdoor patio, elevator, management office, and mailbox area, along with back-of-house support spaces. Hough Senior Independent Living will have 29 off-street parking spaces.

A 60-unit apartment building with 61 parking spaces is planned on excess land at the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s West Park rapid transit station in Cleveland’s West Park-Kamms neighborhood (City Architecture).

Newly emerging developments didn’t win conditional approval for the 9 percent LIHTC allocations but will likely return for consideration in a future round. Those developments include the Detroit Avenue Senior Housing at the current site of the historic Lakewood Baptist Church, 14321 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. As Salus Development LLC has proposed, a 66-unit apartment may be built with Bee My Baby day care on the ground floor. The day care is currently a tenant of the church.

Another is the West Park Apartments, planned by Flaherty & Collins on 1.28 acres of surplus land at the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s West Park Red Line rail station. Like the Detroit Avenue Senior Housing, NEOtrans broke the story about the West Park Apartments which will offer 60 apartments in one-, two- and three-bedroom configurations.

It is the second apartment project planned by Flaherty & Collins at a west-side rapid transit station, the first being at the West Boulevard Red Line station in Cleveland’s Cudell neighborhood. The West Park Apartments will provide a community room, outdoor play area, fitness center, and on-site parking. It will be financed with LIHTC, county and city HOME funds, 811 vouchers, multifamily tax abatement and deferred developer fees.


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