May 20, 2010
ATLANTA – The housing finance division of The Atlanta Development Authority (ADA), closed bonds to finance the Amal Heights Townhomes project on May 20th. This deal represents the first tax exempt bond financing that ADA has funded since 2007 when the credit markets began to weaken.
“Bond investors and syndicators are regaining their confidence in the Atlanta market,” says Dawn Luke, Interim Director of Housing Finance for ADA. “Because the project is preservation of existing residential units versus new construction, it’s more attractive to investors right now. With the help of the State, who allowed us to use federal stimulus dollars to fill the gap, we were able to get this deal across the finish line.”
“This project is building on the progress and momentum of other residential projects in the neighborhood, including the Villages at Carver and Park Place South,” says Granvel Tate, Neighborhood Revitalization Manager with ADA. “With the recent affirming vote by Atlanta City Council to lease Lakewood Fairgrounds to Screen Gems, a film production company, the Amal Heights Townhomes project represents an investment in quality workforce housing that will support the planned commercial investment around the Fairgrounds.”
The project developer is RST Development of Virginia Beach, Virginia which owns projects from Pennsylvania to Georgia. The project consists of 192 three-bedroom units and is an acquisition and extensive rehab to an existing property. The project will be rehabbed to the Earthcraft standard for multifamily renovations and will include new energy efficient appliances including washers and dryers in all units, high SEER HVAC units, increased insulation, new roofs, new landscaping, and a new community room and leasing office. The project will also include increased security including an entry gate with card access, installation of new lighting, installation of cameras and improvements to the perimeter fencing. Located at 1700 Giben Road off Amal Drive, the project will consist of 85% affordable units and 15% market rate units.
The developer is also working with the Villages at Carver Family YMCA and Joseph B. Whitehead Boys and Girl’s Club to encourage the use of the facilities by tenants and is providing classes for education, financial literacy, job skills, and related activities in their community room for property residents.
“Because this project will have 192 three-bedroom units, it will become a wonderful sanctuary for working families with kids,” says Councilmember Joyce M. Sheperd, who represents District 12, where the project is located. “Since this property is currently 85 percent occupied, this will be an “in place rehab” project, meaning the residents currently living there won’t have to move. “
This was a multilayered and complex financial transaction with many partners including the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the City of Atlanta’s Office of Housing. ADA issued $9.35 million in tax exempt bonds insured by HUD. Another $880,000 came from the City of Atlanta’s Housing Opportunity Bond proceeds and $1 million came from the City’s HOME Investment Partnership Act Funds. Construction is expected to begin in mid June and last approximately 12 months.
ABOUT ATLANTA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
The Atlanta Development Authority is the official economic development agency for the city of Atlanta. ADA represents in-town Atlanta, which has a population of 530,000 and growing. ADA is a research-based economic development organization, focused on residential, business and investment growth in the city. Visit www.atlantada.com.