Monroe Group | Newsroom | Press Releases
|Construction Completed on Renovation of Leona Apartments, an Affordable Multifamily Housing Property
Date of Release: 12/28/2010
Uvalde residents are proud be home for the holidays, ringing in the New Year with a new look and significant structural improvements
UVALDE, TX, December 28, 2010- Residents at Leona Apartments, located at 209 1st St., have newly renovated homes for the holidays. The five-month, $576,113 construction is now complete on this $2,187,357 acquisition and renovation project. Leona Apartments was acquired in November of 2007 by Community Housing Concepts, Inc. (CHC). CHC contracted Steele Properties, LLC as developer and acquisition advisor. This previously weathered and zero-accessibility rental property has been significantly transformed to improve the quality of life for its residents, while preserving its affordability.
Improvements to the property include a new energy efficient roof, as well as windows and doors. The many children who live in this family apartment complex now enjoy a vastly improved playground. Each unit received new, energy efficient appliances, as well as heating and cooling system repairs and lighting upgrades. Safety features such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and electrical circuit protection devices were installed throughout. The building’s exterior was enhanced with new paint, and repairs to concrete, asphalt and landscaping.
Two units were fully converted to comply with the ADA Accessibility Code, which are already occupied by persons with disabilities who would otherwise not have access to accessible homes. All common spaces are now handicap accessible, and two handicap parking spaces were created.
Cynthia Castro has been the Property Manager at Leona Apartments for nearly ten years, and is in awe of the property’s transformation. “Everyone in the community comments on how nice the building is- it’s one of the nicest in Uvalde. I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from residents, specifically in regards to the accessibility improvements. The renovation by Steele Properties was seamless; the construction crews were fast, effective, and very respectful of residents. We couldn’t be happier.”
CHC agreed to preserve the property’s public housing status, meaning that rents will remain low enough to be eligible for Section 8 subsidies over what each tenant can afford. As acquisition consultant, Steele Properties advised CHC to participate in the Office of Housing and Urban Development’s Mark-to-Market program, which increases the amount in subsidies paid to CHC, but does not increase rents for tenants. The property now generates more revenue to be directed back into building maintenance and improvements, while rents remain affordable for residents.
In 2008, CHC received a 9% Competitive Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) award, which would fund the needed construction on the property and therefore increase the property’s value and maintain its affordability. However, due to the volatile lending market at the time, CHC was unable to secure enough value for its credits to cover the necessary expenses of the renovation. Under the guidance of Steele Properties, in early 2010 Leona Apartments was approved by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) to participate in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Tax Credit Exchange Program (TCEP). As a result, CHC received a $1,148,100 cash grant in lieu of its tax credit award, which was applied to the project’s total acquisition cost and allowed CHC to proceed with construction immediately.
“Even when the market’s not on our side, the completed construction at Leona is a testament to our perseverance and our commitment to ensure that residents live in buildings that not only meet their physical needs, but that they can be proud to call ‘home,’” says Hud Karshmer, CHC President. “It is through CHC’s combined years of experience and important partnership with Steele Properties that we have successfully completed Leona’s construction, where others would have likely thrown in the towel.”
Leona Apartments is a 40-unit, multifamily, Section 8 and Tax Credit housing property located in Uvalde, Texas. The property consists of 10 two-story walk-up buildings, and houses residents who earn between 30-60% of Uvalde’s average median income.
Community Housing Concepts, Inc. is the owner of Leona Apartments (acquired November, 2007). CHC is a Denver-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving affordable housing opportunities in communities across the country. Founded in 2005, the organization has invested almost $60 million in multi-family and senior affordable housing units, including over $12 million in rehabilitation efforts. CHC, either directly or through its subsidiaries, owns 12 subsidized properties and nearly 1,300 subsidized units across five states. www.communityhousingconcepts.org
Steele Properties LLC acted as acquisition advisor and developer for Leona Apartments. The company was formed in 2006 as a partnership between Stuart Heller, Hud Karshmer, and Chad Asarch to pursue affordable multifamily development and acquisition opportunities. Steele Properties has successfully completed over $200 million in acquisitions, sales and redevelopment activity involving 20 affordable housing properties, equaling nearly 2000 units. www.steelellc.com
Monroe Group Ltd. manages Leona Apartments (since November, 2007). Founded almost 30 years ago, Monroe Group currently manages a portfolio of 31 multi-family properties totaling 2,084 units. Of those, 21 are Project Based Section 8 properties, comprising of 1851 subsidized units. www.monroegroupltd.com
For More Information Contact:
Community Relations Manager, Monroe Group Ltd.
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