The City of Independence and Cohen-Esrey Development Group, LLC have announced the long-anticipated senior housing development at the former Washington School site is moving forward, thanks to the recent award of federal tax credits.
After unsuccessful attempts to secure tax credits in 2015 and 2016, Tim Quigley, Cohen-Esrey development director, said his company received notification last week from the Kansas Housing Resources Commission (KHRC) that its 2017 application for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) had been approved. Quigley explained each state receives an annual allocation of federal housing tax credits, formally known as Section 42 Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). KHRC administers the program for the State of Kansas. The credits were the final stimulus needed to green-light the project, Quigley said.
“The third time (application) was the charm, apparently, and we are very excited to get this development off the ground and breathe new life into the sentimental school building,” Quigley said.
Quigley anticipates architectural renderings and final financing arrangements should be completed in four to five months, with construction beginning in September or October.
Named “Washington Historic Residences,” the complex will offer 26 units, a combination of both one- and two-bedroom apartments, Quigley said. The apartments will be outfitted with washers and dryers, and the building will offer secured access, an elevator, weather safe room, a community space, green space and off-street parking. The facility will be designed specifically for senior residents whose incomes are no more than 60 percent of the area median income.
“The Washington School development is a win for both progress and historic preservation in our city,” said Independence Mayor Fred Meier. “It will be great to see the historic 1939 building repurposed in such a useful way and once again contributing to our quality of life in Independence.
“Also, Cohen-Esrey has been a great partner with the city, with a track record of producing quality, affordable housing for our residents.”
Washington Historic Residences will be the third housing development in Independence completed by Cohen-Esrey, who also developed Pheasant Point Apartments on the city’s north side and the 8th & Main Historic Residences in the former Union Implement building.