Ask an Official: Housing Authority discusses Fox Point development
This week’s featured question is for Merrill Area Housing Authority Executive Director Paul Russell.
The question reads:
“What is going on with the new apartments over at the old Fox Point place? It was pretty hot and heavy in the news for a while and then it just seemed to fizz out! Will there still be apartments built over there? If so, when will it start and be finished? How many apartments and what will they all have like garages, AC and so on? If not, what will be done with that site now that the city spent all that money clearing it? Thanks”
Answer as given by Russell:
“The Fox Point property is under contract right now as part of the development process to introduce 60 family units of moderate income – working families to that location. With affordable housing there are many layers of financing to assist in making the project financially feasible. Some layers have already been committed to the project, but a major source of funding that remains outstanding is the affordable housing tax credits, which were applied for on March 3rd. The tax credits are competitive in nature and it takes the allocating agency, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), time to evaluate each potential project and determine the scoring before making award announcements.”
“A site visit meeting with WHEDA has already taken place and we are anticipating that an announcement will be made by WHEDA within the next 30-60 days. At that point, and assuming the project receives the requested allocation of credit, the development team will begin the design, entitlement and financial underwriting process. The goal would be to start construction by fall 2017 with the project being completed by fall 2018. In total there will be 60 apartments each having a garage, air conditioning and other amenities. The City of Merrill invested funds to make the property a clean development site. This makes it more marketable and allows a developer to plan more efficiently and save time in the overall project. Thanks for the question!”
Have a question or concern you would like to address? Simply send your question or concern to email@example.com along with an indication of which entity your question or concern pertains to. Current participants are the Merrill Police Department, Merrill Fire Department, Tomahawk Police Department, Lincoln County Administrative Coordinator Randy Scholz, Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson and Merrill Area Housing Authority Director Paul Russell. Please note: Those who submit to the ‘Ask an Official’ feature remain anonymous.