In a surprising move, owner
"We are not low-income housing developers and that's not an area you dabble with," said McGuire President
McGuire and SAA-EVI have signed a memorandum of understanding, but do not have a signed contract, and would not disclose the purchase price. The land to be sold is located on the northeast quadrant of the community, at
Upon closing, SAA-EVI plans to develop two affordable housing projects, one aimed at seniors and one for families, with a total of 222 apartments between them, plus a host of amenities. The total investment, including the purchase price, is expected to top
"For me, it's a very exciting thing, because of what
Alexander said the developer hopes to start work by the end of the year if the project is approved by the city.
That's a dramatic change from years of stagnation at the site, after initial plans by former owner
Several buildings were demolished in the southwest corner in preparation for a new multistory apartment building. But the fenced-in land has remained vacant.
"It was disappointing when that didn't come together," said
But it was outmoded for current tenant needs and desires, and its location adjacent to the burgeoning Medical Campus made it highly underused for its potential. So
The first phase called for a
Five buildings with 25 townhomes were demolished in preparation, while the remaining 65 townhomes were to receive a
Instead, the project languished as the financing was held up, and McGuire and Trammell traded accusations of improprieties, and eventually lawsuits. McGuire, which had already loaned money to Trammell for the project, foreclosed on the property when he didn't repay his debt.
The litigation remains, but does not affect the sale of the property to Alexander's group, Shainbrown said. "We absolutely have title ownership to the property," she said. "We are free to develop it or dispose of it, however we would like."
SAA-EVI now expects to tear down four or five more buildings and relocate any tenants off-site to another subsidized housing complex, with an option to return to the new units once they are built.
"The project is tired. It's not right for those people to be living there, frankly," Alexander said.
Plans call for constructing one three- and four-story building with 98 units of senior housing, with 80 one-bedroom apartments, plus 18 two-bedroom units for those needing more room because of health issues, Alexander said.
Adjacent to that, the developer will erect a second five-story building with 124 apartments for families, featuring a mixture of 31 one-, 64 two- and 29 three-bedroom units. There will also be a 5,000-square-foot community center and a 3,200-square-foot retail space in that building, though "nothing of any consequence," Alexander said.
However, the new complex will feature significant tenant amenities, such as an indoor children's recreation or playground area, a green roof, workout rooms, computer rooms and meeting rooms, as well as a 5,222-square-foot outside play area and workout stations. Also planned is a second large 23,000-square-foot green space, a garden, and two parking lots totaling 165 spaces.
Alexander said the deal has been in the works for more than eight months, and his firm has been in negotiations with the
SAA-EVI has also been talking with
In the meantime, the firm held one public meeting with neighborhood residents on
"This has got to be a very inclusive process of the community around it," Mehaffy said. "Whatever they present is likely to be something that is initial and subject to adaptation based on the community input they receive."
Officials plan to submit paperwork to the city
Meanwhile, McGuire will control the rest of the site, but has no current plans for redevelopment.
Shainbrown said McGuire is seeking a joint-venture partner or a buyer for the entire site, but is not currently in talks with anyone.
"Our options are open. But if someone comes to us in the meantime with a fantastic idea, we're not going to say no," she said. "We don't want it to stay vacant anymore."
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