After plans for a 60-unit apartment complex on Franklin Road hit a snag, a renewed effort is under way to provide the extra housing for this area.
Federal tax credits are being sought for the Jasper Pointe apartment complex, which Wynnefield Properties Inc., an out-of-town firm, is eyeing for a 5.35-acre site in the 100 block of North Franklin Road near the Pipers Gap Road intersection.
This represents a been-there, done-that situation due to the tax credits — a vital financing tool — initially being sought last summer from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, only to be turned down for Wynnefield Properties.
In August 2015, the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners voted to support Wynnefield’s application for the credits in the hopes that would help lead to a favorable outcome in the 2015 awards cycle.
And when this didn’t occur, Wynnefield Properties opted to re-apply — with the city commissioners voting unanimously at a meeting last Thursday night to once again give their endorsement for the credits.
Craig Stone, the president of Wynnefield Properties, could not be reached for comment. But Martin Collins, the city’s community-development coordinator — who is involved with such projects — says the situation boils down to the fact the tax credits are difficult to land.
“I guess I would describe that process as being extremely competitive,” Collins said Monday, with many more applicants for tax credits than those awarded.
“I’m going to say that one in four is successful,” the community-development coordinator added. “It’s just really competitive.”
Only one housing project in Surry County — Woodland Bluff, a 48-unit development in Elkin — was awarded tax credits in 2015 by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency. The agency’s mission includes creating affordable housing opportunities for state residents whose needs are not met by the market.
“Those are important in order to be able to put the financing together to build the apartments,” Collins said in discussing the Jasper Pointe plans and the need for tax credits. Stone also has said that receiving the credits would make rent prices more affordable for tenants.
He has said that $475,000 in annual credits was being sought over a 10-year period for a total of more than $4 million.
Collins said the Jasper Pointe complex, to be spread over three buildings at the vacant North Franklin Road site, is certainly a worthy project.
“It appears to me to be a very good use of the property.”
Edgewood Place, a 56-unit apartment complex earlier developed by Wynnefield Properties, was awarded tax credits.
That project “has been a great addition to Mount Airy,” according to wording in a resolution of support for the latest credits which was approved by the city commissioners Thursday night.
City officials also have recognized the need for additional “workforce housing,” which the Jasper Pointe project would provide.
Wynnefield Properties had hoped to begin construction on the apartments by this past April, with that timetable apparently pushed back a year due to the denial of the 2015 tax credits.
Also at their recent meeting, the city commissioners approved appointments to the Mount Airy Appearance Commission, which is involved with various beautification projects.
The action included the reappointment of three of its members to new three-year terms, and the appointment of two other individuals to replace members not eligible for reappointment. The terms of all five expired on June 30.
Reappointed to the appearance group were Arvid Simmons, Eric Hodges and Allen Burton.
The two new members, who are replacing Joanne Cheatham and Eleanor Powell Hines, are Julie Perkins and Paul Danley.
Perkins operates Perkins & Associates Insurance Specialists with her husband Greg and has been active with other community groups such as the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce, including chairing the chamber’s governing board for 2015.
Danley has worked in the funeral home field and presently is minister of worship at Piney Grove Baptist Church. He and wife DeAnne, who in June took over as director of elementary education for Surry County Schools, became city residents on May 27.
The terms of all five appearance group members will expire on June 30, 2019.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.