Workforce housing helped by state bond | nnbusinessview.com

Workforce housing helped by state bond

Developers for the Summit Club Apartments in South Reno are taking advantage of a state bond option that makes construction of "workforce housing" more economically viable.

Reno-based Sierra Summit, LLC, is developing the project on 26 acres that sits between The Summit shopping center, Interstate 580, and Mount Rose Highway. The 584 apartments in the project will be 80 percent market-rate housing, and 20 percent for those who make 50 percent or less of the median income for Reno, which currently sits at $44,226 per year.

It's the first project in northern Nevada to use the bond option for a mixed-market project and the first affordable housing project in the area since the 1990s.

The State Board of Finance last week approved issuance of up to $90 million in housing revenue bonds for the proposed apartments, to be issued by the Nevada Housing Division. Apartment rent revenue, not public money, will service the debt.

“Our growing workforce requires dynamic and diverse housing options.”Michael HollidayNevada Housing Division

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"The project will bring high-quality architecture and a village design with the apartments developed in 12-, 18-, and 26-unit buildings, and courtyards, greenways, and recreational centers built into the project site plan," said Robert Klein, co-managing partner of Sierra Summit LLC, said in a written statement.

Last year, the company purchased the property that, until the recession, had been intended for an expansion of the shopping center.

"We are immensely proud of the plans our team have created," said Chip Bowlby, the other co-managing partner. "We are meeting a critical need for housing to help sustain the resurgence of the economy throughout the region. Summit Club will be a showpiece of the best in multi-family homes."

Bowlby added that the innovative project is close to shopping and an RTC Park & Ride location that provides transit links to Reno and Carson City.

Klein noted the nearby regional sports center as another attractive element of the apartment development. Soccer, baseball, volleyball and, in the near future, an ice skating rink are all easily accessible at South Valleys Regional Park.

"It is remarkable to have all of these sports facilities immediately available to the residents and their families," Klein said.

According to the Nevada Housing Division website, the bond financing program for multifamily projects was created under Nevada Revised Statutes 319 and is designed to provide a method for financing affordable housing projects.

With population and jobs in the region expected to surge in the next few years, the need for housing is increasing, especially for the workforce. Most multi-family housing developments currently underway or planned in the Truckee Meadows are for Class-A or luxury apartments.

"Our growing workforce requires dynamic and diverse housing options," said Michael Holliday, chief financial officer for Inclusion with the Nevada Housing Division. "This project is the first of its kind in northern Nevada and opens the door to this sort of creative housing blend to meet the ever-changing needs of our community."

All bond financing applicants must obtain local government endorsement of their project prior to applying to the State.

"The Summit Club development addresses the need for more housing that will support northern Nevada's growing and diverse economy," said Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve in a written statement. "Developments like this exemplify our strong economic resurgence and support the mission of a Reno Revival."