By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Charlotte, N.C.—The newly formed Laurel Street Residential has bought the affordable housing development division of Crosland LLC for an undisclosed price. Laurel Street was formed by Crosland’s former affordable housing development staff and is majority owned by Dionne Nelson, who is the new company’s CEO. Darryl Hemminger, senior vice president, and Sue Moody, development coordinator, are also part of the new company.
Founded in 1937, Charlotte-based Crosland has long been a developer of commercial and residential real estate throughout the southeastern United States. Last year the company decided to divest itself of its operating divisions and focus on asset management of its current portfolio of properties. The sale of the affordable housing division was part of that reorganization.
With the purchase, Laurel Street will now own and complete a number of multifamily development projects that Crosland initiated. One is the Park Terrace Apartments, a joint venture with the High Point Housing Authority. The property will ultimately consist of 248 affordable homes in High Point, N.C., including one-, two- and three-bedroom garden apartments and three-bedroom town houses. The first two phases of the development, which are currently leased, total 172 units. Phase three is slated to begin later this year.
Laurel Street has also become the on-site residential development partner for the redevelopment of Boulevard Homes in Charlotte. In 2010, the project received a $20.9 million HOPE VI grant and will seek both LEED and Enterprise Green Community certifications. The development also has support from the city of Charlotte, with a commitment of $7 million in infrastructure funds and $5 million in housing trust funds. The property will consist of 110 independent living units for seniors and 222 mixed-income family units. Construction will begin on the senior units during first quarter of 2012.
Finally, Laurel Street has become the master developer for the Dove Street Redevelopment, a neighborhood revitalization effort in Richmond, Va., in partnership with the Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority. The total redevelopment, which will seek EarthCraft Multifamily certification, will be completed in multiple phases through 2015 and will include mixed-income residential units, a new K-8 school and an adaptive re-use community space. The first phase will include 80 tax-credit rental units and will begin first quarter of 2012.
“The primary concern for affordable housing will be the overall availability of funds,” Nelson tells MHN. “There is a continual risk that funding for affordable housing will be cut in spite of a growing need as elected officials prune federal, state and local budgets.”