Local apartments to get a lift from bond funding

audubon village

Audubon Village and its 176 units are on the list for the bond funding. Photo by Jonathan Spiers.

Five apartment rehab projects in the greater Richmond area are on the state’s priority list to receive tax-exempt bond financing, though only two of those are likely to be included in the next round of bonds.

The Virginia Housing Development Authority is moving forward with issuing as much as $96 million worth of bonds for several projects across the state, including two in the Richmond area that would rehab a total of 341 units at a cost of $31.72 million.

Those local projects include rehabs of 176 units at Audubon Village, an apartment community at 4901 Wood Thrush Circle in eastern Henrico County; and 165 units at Ashland Woods, at 101 E. Omni Terrace in Ashland.

A public notice for a hearing held March 22 originally listed 11 multifamily projects, including five in metro Richmond, that would be paid for with more than $167 million worth of bonds. But those numbers – essentially a wish list of projects that may or may not receive funding in this round of bonds – have since been whittled down.

The $96 million number could be reduced further by the time bond pricing is finalized at the end of this month. VHDA attorney Steve Mintz said such adjustments are typical.

“That’s just the nature of the business,” Mintz said Friday. “A lot of these developments have a lot of complicated financing, including tax credits and local government financing – basically lots of opportunities for things to go wrong.”

The bonds will be used to refinance certain projects, finance construction or rehab developments, and finance reserve funds and costs of issuing the bonds. All of the projects are for low- and moderate-income residents, including some group facilities for people with physical or mental disabilities.

Franklin Street Apartments will likely get funding in the next round.

Franklin Street Apartments will likely get funding in the next round.

The original notice included three additional area projects that didn’t make this latest cut, all located in the city. They include rehabs of 157 units at Bellevue Apartments, located at 4203 Chamberlayne Ave. and 4210 Old Brook Road; 82 units at Franklin Street Apartments, at 2201 E. Franklin St. in Shockoe Bottom; and 50 units of Church Hill North, a planned redevelopment of the former Armstrong High School site at 1611 N. 31st St.

Other projects listed in the original notice include developments in Arlington, Centerville, Falls Church, Hampton, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Woodbridge.

While not all of the projects will be funded with these bonds, their inclusion in the notice identifies them as next on the list of VHDA’s priorities for multifamily projects to receive tax-exempt financing. Mintz said such notices are a recurring, required step of the federal Internal Revenue Code.

“The notice makes it possible for us to sell tax-exempt bonds,” Mintz said. “When we publish those notices, we include every development that is on the horizon, in terms of what our multifamily division is thinking about financing.”

In Richmond, the Bellevue Apartments rehab would cost $7.92 million, according to the notice. Code Genesis Bellevue LLC is listed as the developer in the notice. City property records list the owner as CC Bellevue LLC, which purchased both properties – the 4-acre 4203 Chamberlayne Ave. and the 3.4-acre 4210 Old Brook Road – for $1.75 million last April. The city most recently assessed the properties at $2.11 million and $1.89 million, respectively.

The Franklin Street Apartments rehab would total $7.8 million. The notice lists the developer as 2201 East Franklin Street LLC. City records list the owner as Garbers of Richmond Inc., which purchased the half-acre property in 1999 for $278,122. It’s currently assessed at $693,000.

The 50-unit Church Hill North project is described as Phase 1 B and would total $8 million. Church Hill North Phase 1 B LLC is the developer, and the City of Richmond owns the 11.6-acre property, which is assessed at $2.58 million.

As for the two projects that could receive funding in this latest round of bonds, the Audubon Village project would cost $17.11 million. The 176 apartments are located along Audubon Drive east of White Oak Village and South Laburnum Drive. Audubon Village I LP is the owner and developer. It purchased the 11-acre property in 1999 for $800,000. The property is assessed at $10.16 million.

And the Ashland Woods project would is budgeted to cost $14.61 million. Ashland Woods LP is the developer, and Hanover County records list Hanover Ashland Limited Partnership as the owner. The 5.3-acre property is assessed at $4.57 million.

Note: The assessed value of Audubon Village has been updated to include the improvement value. An earlier version of this story listed the land value only.

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