Immigrant Housing Project Would Revive 12 Properties in Tower Grove East, Fox Park

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Messiah Lutheran Church and Rise Community Development are seeking Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) support for the proposed renovation of 12 multi-family buildings in the Tower Grove East and Fox Park neighborhoods. In all, the project would produce 45 apartments and 95 bedrooms.

The proposed development would makes use of state and federal historic credits, meaning that all work would be required to meet standards set forth by the Tower Grove East, Fox Park, and DeSales historic districts.

Buildings proposed for renovation are in poor condition and several in danger of demolition. Each revitalized building would represent a small step forward for the community, but taken together, they represent a more transformative investment. Along with Rise and the Messiah Church, the development team includes Urban Werks, EM Harris Construction and Rubin Brown.

What makes this project especially interesting is that it’s not simply a physical development plan. The low-income residential units aren’t simply low-income either. In recently years Bhutanese refugees (ethnically Nepalese) have made this corner of the city home, and Messiah has developed a support network to provide services to these newly arrived residents. The project will specifically target this group in need.

The newly arrived immigrant population often finds it particularly difficult to locate suitable and affordable housing. They also most often do not have access to a car. The proposed housing is located in one of the more dense residential areas of St. Louis and is near public transit, retail, employment, and other resources. While Tower Grove East and Fox Park have seen a resurgence, and continue to see investment, affordable housing near needed resources remains a big challenge.

Messiah Lutheran Church has been located on South Grand for more than a century. The church has worked with charter school South City Prep and developed its own after school program. Messiah also housed a new music school, The Music Room. The school in now located at 3301 Magnolia in Tower Grove East in a building it purchased and renovated.

Planned apartment units:
4 – one-bedroom/1 bath $550 per month 800 sq. ft. – 950 sq. ft.
31 two-bedroom/1 bath $710 per month 910 sq. ft. – 1100 sq. ft.
10 three-bedroom /2 bath $800 per month 990 sq. ft. – 1120 sq. ft.

According to the development proposal, planned financing is as follows:
TE Bond Proceeds Construction Only $4,250,000
Federal LIHTC credit $356,884 Annual Credit $2,470,692 Equity
State LIHTC credit $356,884 Annual Credit $1,291,886 Equity
Federal Historic Credit $1,807,190 $1,660,952 Equity
State Historic Credit $2,258, 988 $1,940,787 Equity
MDHC/LCEF Permanent Loan (3.85%) $1,600,000
Messiah Lutheran/Developer Contingency Loan $300,000
MHDC/AHC/CDA Subordinate Loan (1%) $700,000
Total Development Cost (Net of Bridge Loans) $8,037,273

The project is seeking a 4% LIHTC, making financing much more likely than if it were seeking the more competitive and less predictable 9% credit. Wikipedia: The LIHTC provides funding for the development costs of low-income housing by allowing an investor (usually the partners of a partnership that owns the housing) to take a federal tax credit equal to a percentage (up to 70 percent (9%) or 30 percent (4%) of PV depending on the credit type) of the cost incurred for development of the low-income units in a rental housing project. (video explanation of LIHTC)

2801-3 Magnolia
• Gross Square Feet – 10,350 on 3 floors
• 9 total units
Second floor East – front – 2 bed 1 bath – 986 sf
Second floor East – rear – 2 bed 1 bath – 815 sf
Second floor West – front – 1 bed 1 bath – 595 sf
Second floor West – rear – 1 bed 1 bath – 506 sf
Third floor East – front – 2 bed 1 bath – 986 sf
Third floor East – rear – 2 bed 1 bath – 815 sf
Third floor West – front – 1 bed 1 bath – 595 sf
Third floor West – rear – 1 bed 1 bath – 506 sf
First floor – 3 bed 1 bath – 1209 sf
• 2250 +/- Square Feet Commercial Space – First Floor

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

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2625-27 Texas
• Gross Square Feet – 2472 on 2 floors
• 2 total units
First floor North – 3 bed 2 bath
First floor South – 3 bed 2 bath

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

3114 Sidney
• Gross Square Feet – 3992 on 2 floors
• 4 total units
First floor East – 2 bed 1 bath – 882 sf
First floor West – 2 bed 1 bath – 882 sf
Second floor East – 2 bed 1 bath – 882 sf
Second floor West – 2 bed 1 bath – 882 sf

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

3152 Arsenal
• Gross Square Feet – 3518 on 2 floors
• 4 total units
First floor East – 2 bed 1 bath – 729 sf
First floor West – 2 bed 1 bath – 729 sf
Second floor East – 2 bed 1 bath – 729 sf
Second floor West – 2 bed 1 bath – 729 sf

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

2833 Magnolia
• Gross Square Feet – 5038 on 3 floors
• 4 total units
First floor East – 2 bed 1 bath – 778 sf
First floor West – 2 bed 1 bath – 778 sf
Second floor East – 3 bed 2 bath – 1290 sf
Second floor West – 3 bed 2 bath – 1290 sf

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

3114-16 Arsenal
• Gross Square Feet – 3598 on 2 floors (optional 3rd floor for one unit)
• 4 total units
First floor East – 1 bed 1 bath – 603 sf
First floor West – 2 bed 1 bath – 638 sf
Second floor East – 3 bed 2 bath – 1298 sf
Second floor West – 2 bed 1 bath – 729 sf

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

2850 Magnolia
• Gross Square Feet – 2899 on 3 floors
• 2 total units
First floor – 2 bed 1 bath – 855 sf
Second and Third floor – 3 bed 2 bath – 1515 sf

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

3110 Magnolia
• Gross Square Feet – 2030 on 2 floors
• 2 total units
First floor – 2 bed 1 bath – 818 sf
Second floor East – 2 bed 1 bath – 933 sf

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

2128-30 Oregon
• Gross Square Feet – 4918 on 2 floors
• 4 total units
First floor North – 3 bed 2 bath
First floor South – 3 bed 2 bath
Second floor North – 3 bed 2 bath
Second floor South – 3 bed 2 bath

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

2644 Accomac
• Gross Square Feet – 4078 on 2 floors
• 4 total units
First floor East – 2 bed 1 bath – 889 sf
First floor West – 2 bed 1 bath – 889 sf
Second floor East – 2 bed 1 bath – 889 sf
Second floor West – 2 bed 1 bath – 889 sf

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

Messiah Church/Rise LIHTC project - St. Louis, MO

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  • John R

    I believe the 3114-16 Arsenal structure went up in flames yesterday….
    http://www.kmov.com/news/local/South-St-Louis-home-partially-collapses-after-fire-285443351.html
    If it can’t be salvalged hopefully they can go ahead with infill.

    • Adam

      ugh… of course it did.

    • Greg

      They are going to attempt to repair the building that caught fire.

    • Greg

      They are going to attempt to repair the building that caught fire.

  • Imran

    Per the Post Dispatch.

    “East Fox Homes—a rehab by East Fox Developer LLC of 13 vacant buildings in the Fox Park and Tower Grove East neighborhoods as 45 units of housing for immigrants”

    has been awarded federal and state low income tax credits

  • John R

    Today’s post on the DeSalles Dev. Corp’s plans reminded me of this great project…. when can we expect to hear on what projects were awarded state LIHTCs?

    • Alex Ihnen

      The MHDC will recommend this project receive funding at its December 5 Commission meeting. This looks like its on the way to becoming reality.

  • BDG23

    $8MM total cost, 45 units, that’s $177k per unit developed. Is that right? This would be positive for the area for sure but is the cost too high?

  • STLEnginerd

    Not complaining but what would it take for something like this to happen on the north side. After all that is the area with the most need, but it seems that the majority of immigrant communities are being established on the south side. Any thoughts.

    As a starting point I’d like to see the Hempstead school converted into immigrant housing. A similar effort to this in the surrounding area could easily establish an ethnic enclave an anchor that part of town.

  • j84ustin

    My grandmother was born in 2850 Magnolia. It would be wonderful to see the building renovated.

  • Lucas Delort

    i was wondering what was going to happen to 2801-03 magnolia. i was eyeing that property on the LRA website for years. i’m glad it will go towards such a great purpose.

  • Yojimbo

    Great properties, great news.

  • tbatts666

    This is so great!

  • Michael C.

    Fantastic news!

  • ben

    Can they please keep the baby blue and awesome graffiti on the first house!!!!!

  • Ihanaf

    This is frickantastic !! Now who was it that complained that the people on this forum are never happy with anything?

  • STLEnginerd

    Maybe I am greedy but it’d be nice to see these properties on a parcel map. I’m interested in how “tight” the grouping is. This is a SPECTACULAR development and I’ve have been hoping some organization would make such a move. The city needs to help find ways to fund organization like this. Up till now the Mosaic project has been a disappointment wrapped in power point presentations. THIS would be a real step in the direction of a positive future for St. Louis. Maybe my lack of faith in Mosaic was unjustified…?

    • Presbyterian

      It looks like they’ve taken some of the most distressed properties between Compton and Jefferson, Russell and Arsenal. Very exciting! Thank you, Lutherans. 😉

    • Presbyterian

      Screenshot map attached.

  • John R

    Pittsburgh has also been taking in Bhutanese refugees that fled to Eastern Nepal & the Post-Gazette has a good look at the lives of these people::

    http://www.post-gazette.com/news/world/2014/09/19/Refugee-camps-in-eastern-Nepal-Pittsburgh-Post-Gazette/stories/201409190169
    I do believe it was such an immigrant who was tragically murdered recently in the area as he worked in a convenience store.

    • Presbyterian

      A friend who teaches ESL at Roosevelt tells me that Nepalese are one of the larger people groups settling in St. Louis right now.

  • TGE

    Wow, is right. I am happily shocked at some of the buildings they’ve chosen for this, especially 2801-3 Magnolia at California and Magnolia. I run by that building all the time and it is a big beautiful building but is in rough shape. I had assumed it was a goner. Great, great news.

  • Maggie

    This looks like a pretty fantastic project with great planning to not only help the neighborhoods but the immigrant community. I hope they are able to get the credits they need and it moves forward.

  • John R

    Terrific plan with what looks to be a fantastic partnership! Let’s cross fingers!

  • Adam

    this is an utterly amazing project—i hope the developers can pull it off. i also hope they leave the painted urinals on the front of 2833 Magnolia as they’re awesome.

  • Mike F

    Wow, just…WOW! I suppose one can only say Good Luck! at this juncture. I will be especially pleased to see the multi- at the corner of Arsenal and Compton re-done. It’d be a shame to lose that corner. Attractive all–with some truly outstanding examples of the St. Louis vernacular. Not a clinker (heh-heh) in the bunch.