$11 million affordable housing project moves forward

BEDFORD – In their meeting, Monday night the Bedford City Council approved TWG Development LLC’s request to change the zoning from a B-3 designation to R-3 designation. The vote passed 6-1 with Dan Bortner voting against the zoning change.

TWG Development will build a 60 multi-family unit dwelling at the cost of $11 million. The establishment will be built at the former George’s Gateway location at 2201 M Street.

“I understand the need for more affordable housing and the reference in a letter from ROI, however, I am more concerned with the zoning change from commerce that has direct access to a four-lane highway and rezoning it away from commerce to high-density housing,” said Dan Bortner at-large Bedford City Council member.

Several questions were asked by various city council members. The council members also stated it would be a great benefit to the area and would also address the need for housing in the community.

The only stipulation for the approval of the project was to add a fence along the railroad right away parallel to M Street as an added safety measure for residents crossing over the four-lane highway on M Street.

TWG Development LLC is based out of Indianapolis, with more than 80 developments in 14 states. TWG develops and manages the properties and keeps them in a portfolio for over 15 years.

The project is Section 42 Housing which uses federal tax credit of the IRS code which is awarded through the state annually.

Once the zoning is approved TWG will apply for the tax credits, the tax credits are used by the investors to buy down the mortgage. In turn for buying down the mortgage with the tax credits, TWG is required to have the apartments affordable and lease them to renters 30 – 60 percent Average Medium Income (AMI) for a period of 15 years, with automatic renewal for an additional 15 years thereafter.

TWG is the 13th largest developer in the United States, in providing affordable housing units. They currently have several projects in Indianapolis as well as French Lick, West Baden, Seymour, and Muncie, Indiana.

Those who live in the apartments must qualify to live in the apartments and must meet those qualifications every year. Renters must prove they have income and must pay their rent and pay their own utilities. There is no government subsidy going to the residents themselves.

One of the maximum income levels of 30 percent AMI, which equates for a family of 4, the maximum AMI would be an income of $26,500 annually according to Vencel.

Another maximum income level of 60 percent AMI which equates for a family of 4 maximum AMI would be an income of $34,000 a year.

This would allow prospective renters affordable housing and would provide a great place of living for first-time renters or perhaps a stepping stone to transition into the community. For example, a new college graduate that may earn an annual salary of $30,000 a year could begin living in the complex. However, as their pay scale progresses they would still be allowed to stay in the properties until they reach the 60 and 80 percent AMI before they no longer qualify.

Another positive situation this complex may provide to our community and our residents would be once one would inhabit these apartments for four to five years, it would give them the opportunity to establish their credit to allow them to purchase their own home one day.

The proposed project will include approximately 60 units which are 39 – 2 bedroom and 1 bath apartments and 21 – 3 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms apartments.

There will be an on-site leasing office and residential amenities, onsite maintenance staff five days a week, a leasing office, playground equipment all under surveillance with provided security and camera systems in place.

There will be some expenses incurred by the City of Bedford which will be a ten-year tax abatement of $413,000 and an additional cost of $50,000 in-kind such as the construction of sidewalks and dealing with issues at the nearby lift station located at 22nd and M Streets.

There are plans to use ROI grant funding and READI grant funding to address the issues at the lift station.

Construction of the project is not expected to begin until 2023 with TWG having to apply for the tax credits. The zoning change was the first step in a long process to construct the building.

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