A multimillion-dollar renovation of a federally subsidized apartment complex in Henrico is signaling a new trend of county involvement in such projects, with more to come.
Henrico officials on Thursday marked the completion of more than $5 million in upgrades to Hope Village Apartments, a 100-unit complex off Mountain Road in Glen Allen.
County administrators and Fairfield District supervisor Frank Thornton joined residents and the complex’s new owner, Fairstead Affordable, for a ribbon-cutting at the complex at 1605 Hope Road, near Mountain’s intersection with Greenwood Road just west of Brook Road.
The improvements are the first to be done to federally subsidized housing in Henrico with involvement from the county through a memorandum of understanding. Last year, county supervisors signed off on an agreement in which bonds for the project were issued through the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (SRHA), which Fairstead had engaged to secure funding for another property there.
Hope Village is in Henrico but the county does not have a housing authority through which Fairstead could apply for low-income housing tax credits. So the company, an affiliate of New York-based real estate investment firm Fairstead Capital requested Henrico’s approval to work with the SRHA.
As a result, Henrico had input in the improvements to Hope Village, which included roof replacements, new HardiePlank siding, HVAC systems, LED lighting, kitchen cabinetry, flooring, bathroom fixtures and EnergyStar appliances. Improvements also were made to the playground and community building, and several units were brought in compliance with federal accessibility standards.
Overall, Fairstead Affordable put in more than $50,000 per unit with investor support from SunTrust Bank, company Vice President Bobby Byrd said at Thursday’s ceremony. The Virginia Housing and Development Authority provided the tax credits for the project.
More projects to come
Fairstead bought Hope Village last year for $9.2 million as part of a portfolio purchase that included Woodland Crossing Apartments, a 132-unit complex in Richmond’s Southside. The seller was California-based GHC Housing Partners.
Hope Village, built in 1973 and totaling 6.7 acres, was assessed at the time at $6.32 million, according to Henrico property records. The latest county assessment, conducted in January, upped the property’s value to $9.36 million.
The renovations were described as the most extensive improvements ever made at Hope Village, where rents are subsidized through the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program. Both Hope Village and Woodland Crossing are Section 8 housing through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, meaning tenants pay a fixed percentage of their income.
In similar fashion to Hope Village, Henrico has formalized memorandums of understanding for improvements to three other subsidized-housing complexes in the county: Henrico Arms, Newbridge Village and St. Luke apartments.
For St. Luke, county supervisors in September approved a $70 million bond issuance by the SRHA for improvements to the complex near Laburnum Avenue and Meadowbridge Road. St. Luke Apartments LLC, tied to real estate firm SAA|EVI, purchased the 496-unit property late last month in a $16.25 million multiparcel sale. It plans to spend about $40,000 per unit on the improvements.