Low-income Cape Girardeau housing proposal goes before state commission today

Friday, February 19, 2010
The Mount Vista apartments at Lorimier Street and Park Drive in Cape Girardeau may become a low-income housing project called Cape Riverview Apartments. (Fred Lynch)

A proposal to create 43 apartments for low-income individuals in Cape Girardeau won out over two to build new housing for low-income elderly in recommendations that will go before the Missouri Housing Development Commission today.

RCH Development Inc., controlled by Jackson developer Chad Hartle, will receive $4.1 million in state tax credits over 10 years, an equal amount of federal tax credits and a $450,000 1 percent interest loan to create Cape Riverview Apartments 2 at Park Drive and Lorimier Street. The money would finance Hartle's purchase and rehabilitation of existing apartments known as Mount Vista.

The commission meets at 9 a.m. in Jefferson City to consider staff recommendations for the statewide low-income housing construction program for 2010. The commission will distribute state tax credits good for $135 million over 10 years and an equal amount of federal tax credits. In addition, the commission will distribute federal disaster-related credits worth $113 million over 10 years to projects in 30 counties and $13.5 million in loans and grants for construction and operations.

The commission will also issue state tax credits that work on a different set of rules and are worth $26.4 million over 10 years and a slightly higher amount of federal credits.

In each of the past three years, projects approved for Southeast Missouri have focused on the low-income elderly.

Hartle received credits in 2007 to rehabilitate Schultz School on Pacific Street into housing for low-income senior citizens and the disabled. Maco Development Co. LLC received credits in 2006 and 2008 to build apartments for senior citizens and the disabled in Cape Girardeau and Perryville, Mo.

Hartle's latest proposal was recommended to the commission over another Hartle proposal to build 48 senior apartments on North Oak Hill Road in Jackson and a Maco project to build 34 senior apartments on West End Boulevard in Cape Girardeau.

Hartle could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The commission staff does not give specific reasons why one project received the recommendation and another did not, said Janell Thome, rental production program specialist for the commission. The review process covers 10 factors, such as community needs and the viability of a site, including how badly a property targeted for rehabilitation needs work, Thome said.

A proposal can be rejected if the site has issues or the financing of the project isn't sound, Thome said. "These are developments using precious resources, tax credits," she said.

The total available for tax credits is distributed by population, with set asides of 19 percent for the Kansas City metropolitan area, 34 percent for the St. Louis region and 47 percent for the remainder of the state.

The commission received 124 applications requesting a tax credits worth $520 million over 10 years, Thome said.



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