City Council approved Tuesday the issuance of $21 million in multifamily revenue bonds for the Bluffs at Walnut Creek project, another step in the process that will enable Pedcor Investments to build a low-income 198-unit apartment complex on the west side of New Hope Road.
The proposed development will include 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units, a clubhouse, exercise facilities, pool and sun deck, ample parking, and connection to 100 miles of trails for the clientele, which Mike Byron, Vice President within Development at Pedcor Investments, said will primarily include low-income workers.
The process of receiving the tax credits, which Byron said “promote developers to build affordable housing,” has taken months and included meetings with the Southeast Citizens Advisory Council, an April 15 proposal to the City Council to receive an exemption from the Scattered Site Policy, and two public hearings in November for the issuance of the multifamily revenue bonds.
On November 5, the City Council initially voted to hold this agenda item until their next session to allow for further discussion and to receive more information. Questions were raised about the site’s proximity to public transit sites and the Scattered Site Policy exemption for the project, which had been granted by the City Council on April 15 in a 6-1 vote, Councilor Odom being the sole dissenter.
Councilors who had reservations about the project clarified their previous statements during the November 18 session and the agenda item was unanimously approved with little discussion and without a presentation by Pedcor Investments.
This will be the company’s first project in North Carolina and will be similar to their Village Park apartment complex in Waukegan, IL, in terms of layout and design, according to Byron. The Bluffs at Walnut Creek project, like Village Park, has a trail running directly through the property. Design was completed by an in-house designer and engineer and was aided by a local civil engineering firm.
In an interview with the Record, Byron noted the site’s lack of proximity to public transit site is “not much of a concern,” as Pedcor Investments had completed an internal analysis of the subject and found that most residents of Pedcor Investments’ apartment complexes did not use public transit sites even if they were in proximity to said apartment complexes.
Byron said the company hopes to close the deal on the property somewhere between February and April of 2015, and “put shovels in the ground” soon after. Then it will take “18 months to build everything,” Byron said, including units, roads, water lines, sewers, and more. The first residents will be able to move into the complex in early 2016.