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Subsidized Apartments Proposed on 37th North

Thursday, March 15 2007 12:00 AM

BY DAN VOORHIS

The Wichita Eagle
A Kentucky developer wants to build an apartment complex on 37th Street North between Woodlawn and Rock Road.


LDG Properties of Louisville is seeking to build a $29.7 million, 260-unit complex. It would sit just west of a string of large retail stores lining North Rock Road.


Eighty percent of the apartments would go to tenants who qualify for subsidized rent. LDG specializes in building complexes using federal tax credits aimed at building affordable housing.


Rents for the subsidized units would be $700 for two-bedroom units, $820 for three-bedroom units and $925 for a four-bedroom unit.


A single person can't make more than $25,700 a year to qualify to rent. A couple can't earn more than $29,400 and a family of four, $36,700.


The other 20 percent of the units would rent at market rate. The company estimates that rate at $650 per month for one bedroom, $988 for two bedroom and $1,000 for three bedrooms.


Planned amenities include a large clubhouse with fitness and business centers, swimming pool and patio area, a playground, and cookout areas with picnic tables.


The complex will be pretty upscale, said Mark Stanberry, housing specialist with the Housing and Community Services for the city.


The area is zoned for apartments, but the state requires the developer to get the consent of the local government.


When the Wichita City Council considered the matter Tuesday, it deferred action on the project to hear from more neighbors.


Some area residents voiced concerns about the project at Tuesday's meeting.

Some neighbors are concerned about the traffic and density brought by the complex, said Nick Esterline, the project's coordinator.


There is also some concern about having subsidized housing, he said. That's why he and others will meet with neighbors next week to talk about the quality of the development and the tax credit program.

Wichita has a mixed record with accepting subsidized apartment complexes.


Most recently, developer Gary Hassenflu failed in his attempt to convert the former Kellogg School into an apartment complex when neighbors objected to rezoning the site.


A number of other projects, however, have been approved, including the Harvester Apartments in Old Town.


In these projects, a developer is awarded federal tax credits through the state. The developer then sells the credits to corporations and uses the money to reduce the need for cash flow from the rents.

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