Easing The Mid-Level Income Housing Shortage in Cedar Rapids
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Thousands of drivers roll past Edgewood Road NE in Cedar Rapids as a year-long construction project is just starting to really take form.
"About a 60,000-square foot structure, underground parking, two elevators," said Darryl High of High Property Management as he shows the progress. At this point, only three concrete pillars are easy to spot from Edgewood.
The Riverview condominiums should be ready for "customers", as High calls tenants, by next summer. High said the buildings will offer 118 units across four stories.
"The demand for high-quality projects is definitely there," said High, who has been in real estate and property management for 26 years. "The customer wants security systems, underground parking, in-unit laundry. It's like auto windows on a car. You don't buy a car with roll-up windows anymore."
Yet the Riverview is one of eight projects throughout the city that, Joe O'Hern, Executive Administrator for Development Services with the City Manager's Office, said it critical for middle-income renters. That's because 51% of Riverview's 118 units will be income-capped, meaning that renters with an income at or below 80% of the area's median income will qualify.
O'Hern said, for example, a single-person with an income of $40,000 would quality and a family of four with an income of about $57,000 a year would meet that 80% figure.
The remaining 49% of the Riverview's units would be based at market price.
In the overall scope of what meeting the demand for "workforce housing", O'Hern said this is paramount to attract workers and the work that follows.
"We spend a lot of time focusing on jobs but if the employers can't fill those jobs because employees or potential employees are having a hard time finding a place to live, then it's just one more drag on your abilities to get those jobs," said O'Hern.
High stressed that, as with his other properties, tenants will have to meet the same background requirements as other properties, regardless of income.
"No criminal (background), full-time employment," said High. "Those are the important things."
The Riverview units will provide a majority of the new construction throughout the city.
"Even with these units, the housing studies we do still show a demand for units that are affordable for workforce families," said O'Hern.
Below are the eight total projects:
RIVERVIEW (Edgewood Road NE, south of Glass): 118 units, $14.8 million total ($3 million in public funds)
COVENTRY LOFTS (Downtown): 19 units, $4.02 million total ($2.16 public)
9th AVENUE SE BRICKSTONE: 30 units, $4.55 million ($3 million public)
ELLIS VILLAGE (600 G Ave. NW): 20 units, $4.04 million ($2.6 million public)
ELLIS BOULEVARD: 4 units, $582,000 ($270,000 public)
THE KINGSTON (2nd St. SW): 6 units, $840,000 ($360,000 public)
NEW BO WEST (1612 C St. SW): 10 units, $1.32 million ($981,614 public)
SUGAR CREEK VILLAS: 20 units, $2.65 million ($1.2 million public)
TOTAL: 217 units. Combined project cost: $32.8 million ($13.6 million)
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