Apartment proposal misses out on funding

SALEM – An apartment project planned for the city’s east end failed again to secure funding through state housing tax credits, despite scoring higher than funded projects in the same pool.

“We hope to try one more time,” NRP Group assistant developer Mary Hada said in an email Wednesday.

The NRP Group is the Cleveland firm proposing to build Salem Pointe, a 60-unit development to be located on land off of Pershing Street and Butcher Road. Last year the developer sought low income housing tax credits totaling $1,215,000 for 90 units in the same location and just missed getting funding.

Hada said earlier this year that the development was reduced to 60 units to decrease the amount of tax credits being requested to $815,982 in hopes of increasing the chances for funding.

On Wednesday, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency announced the recipients of the 2014 tax credits, awarding more than $27 million worth to 46 developments to serve families, senior citizens and people with disabilities. The results of the scoring and the breakdown of funding can be accessed at www.ohiohome.org.

According to the results, Salem Pointe earned a score of 100 in the pool for new construction under rural, while the four proposals funded each scored a 95. Next to Salem Point was an asterisk, referring to a statement which said: “After scoring the pools, the NRP Group was over the $2 million credit cap per developer. OHFA removed the lowest credit request project to get them below the cap.”

The list of projects receiving funding included two proposals from NRP, with one in Cuyahoga County for $817,686 in credits and one in Portage County for $929,377 in credits. Salem Pointe was the lowest credit request of the three submitted by NRP for new construction, so it was apparently knocked out of consideration.

The website explained that the housing tax credit program “is a tax incentive program designed to increase the supply of quality, affordable rental housing by helping developers offset the costs of rental housing developments for individuals with low- to moderate-income.”

NRP held an option to purchase a more than 67-acre tract of land located south of East Pershing Street and bordered to the east by Butcher and Cunningham Road roads which was to be the location of Salem Pointe. The company approached the city last year to request a zoning change on part of the property and agreed to conserve nearly half of the western portion to prevent any development on wetlands and create a buffer near current single-family dwellings on four dead-end streets.

Salem City Council agreed in March 2013 to rezone the 6.9 acres south of the East Pershing Street extension to Butcher Road from commercial to multiple family residential. Another 14.3 acres just east of the deadends of Oak Street, Tanglewood, Kennedy and Edgewood drives was rezoned from multiple family residential to single family residential to form the buffer zone between current homes and the proposed apartment complex. The rest of the acreage was already zoned multiple family residential.

According to the Salem Pointe proposal, the total project cost was estimated at $9,472,789.