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New Developers Take Over Jazz Hill Affordable Housing Plan

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2 minute read

By Kevin Collison

A new development team is taking on the previously approved Jazz Hill Apartment plan and intends to invest more renovating the grand, but moribund, old apartment buildings near downtown into affordable housing.

Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins and the Twelfth Street Heritage Development Corp. plan to renovate the 11 apartment buildings on the west side of The Paseo between Ninth and 14th streets into 197 affordable apartments.

The new developers replace Maxus Properties, which had a redevelopment plan and tax incentives approved for the Jazz Hill project by a city development agency in November 2019.

“The deal had run into a standstill and we thought we could work with Twelfth Street to get it back on track and to a higher level than proposed before,” said Drew Rosenbarger of Flaherty & Collins.

“When we got the opportunity to work with Flaherty & Collins, it made sense to jump on board,” said Dwayne Willams, president and CEO of Twelfth Street Heritage.

“We wanted to take care of the neighborhood and bring back what’s turning out to be an awesome boulevard.”

Eight of the 11 buildings included in the Jazz Hill redevelopment are vacant.

This is not the first time the Indy developer and Twelfth Street have joined forces.

The two had proposed building a 124-unit affordable housing project on the riverfront a year ago, but that project stalled after failing to receive state low-income housing tax credits.

Maxus originally had proposed investing $18.5 million in its Jazz Hill plan, but the new team is budgeting $26.5 million for the project.

The large brick apartment buildings to be renovated were built between 1896 and 1906 and are located along the west side of an impressive stretch of the historic boulevard. Eight of the 11 buildings are currently vacant.

The buildings were converted to public housing in 1975 and later renovated using the historic tax credit program in 2000, according to documents filed with the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority.

The new redevelopment plan will continue to utilize the 25-year property tax abatement, 10 years at 100 percent, 15 years at 50 percent, and a sales tax exemption on construction material approved two years ago by the PIEA.

Flaherty & Collins developed the Union Berkley Riverfront apartments in 2018 on property owned by Port KC.

In addition, Williams said the Jazz Hill project is slated to receive $3.9 million from the Central City Economic Development program. The CCED uses a special city sales tax approved by voters to assist projects on the East Side.

The monthly rents expected to be charged for the revived Jazz Hill project are estimated at $600 for a studio, $725 for a one-bedroom and $825 for a two-bedroom.

The new development team anticipates beginning work by the end of the year and delivering buildings on a staggered basis throughout 2022 with the entire project completed by 2023.

The renovation will include restoring the exterior masonry, windows and balconies and a full interior renovation including new appliances, bathrooms, flooring and building mechanical systems.

“When this project came across the desk for us, we were excited because Flaherty & Collins has a lot of experience with complex, affordable housing projects and historic tax credits,” Rosenbarger said.

Flaherty & Collins also has been active building new apartment projects in greater downtown including the Union at Berkley Riverfront and The Yards located in the West Bottoms.

The firm also is pursuing a 300-unit apartment tower project next to the City Market on what is now a city-owned parking lot.

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