Cape council endorses tax-credit housing project

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Cape Girardeau City Council endorsed a proposed tax-credit housing project Monday.

Property owner Brad Schlosser of Benton, Missouri, plans to replace the Star Vue Mobile Home Park at 1927 N. Kingshighway with affordable, “workforce” housing.

Plans call for the project to be financed with state tax credits from the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC), according to the developer and city officials.

City planner Ryan Shrimplin said Starview Development LLC wants to do the project in phases, with the first phase totaling 40 units.

The council’s resolution of support for the project will be included in the developer’s application to MHDC, Shrimplin said in a council agenda report.

“This development will provide safe and affordable workforce housing that is needed in Cape Girardeau,” he wrote.

At a study session before the regular meeting, Pete Ramsel of CRA Investments LLC in Dexter, Missouri, explained the project and the financing.

Ramsel said the developer owns 21 acres. The first phase would encompass three apartment buildings on six acres. There would be two 16-unit buildings and one eight-unit building, he said.

He told the council it is not low-income housing, but affordable housing.

The apartments would be marketed to the working class, making $30,000 to $45,000 a year, he said.

The council’s endorsement is an important part of the application for tax credits, he told the council. MHDC typically approves funding for 30 out of slightly more than 100 applications, according to Ramsel, who has assisted with tax-credit projects in Missouri.

Ward 6 Councilman Danny Essner said, “I love your development.”

Mayor Harry Rediger said Cape Girardeau needs “quality workforce housing.”

After the study session, Ramsel said as much as $500,000 may be sought in tax credits for the project.

But he said the decision of the MHDC to cut tax credits for housing projects last week could make it more difficult to secure such funding next year.

But the developer still would be able to obtain federal tax credits even if the state would not provide any credits, Ramsel said.

“I think it is more of a question for the Legislature,” he said.

Ramsel insisted the project will move forward.

“We will make it happen,” he said.

But the loss of state tax credits would add to the cost of developing this and other housing projects, he said.

“The people that get hurt are the renters,” he said.

Eliminating state tax credits for such projects would add $200 more a month to the cost of rent, Ramsel said.

If the Starview tax-credit application is approved next year, construction could begin as early as September and be completed in 12 months, he said.

In other action, the council adopted the 2017 downtown strategic plan.

mbliss@semissourian.com

(573) 388-3641

Pertinent address:

401 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, Mo.

1927 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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