A mixed-income community has opened south of Macon, Ga., in Warner Robins, one of the fastest growing municipalities in Georgia. Developed by Pennrose and part of the Warner Robins Master Plan Development, Gateway Pointe I will feature 90 apartments.
When complete, the master plan development will include two 90-unit communities and 15,000 square feet of commercial space. Another component of the project, featuring six townhomes, will be located between the Georgia Veterans Education Career Transition Center (VECTR) and Memorial Park on Armed Forces Blvd.
The 90 apartments in Gateway Pointe I are earmarked for families and veterans.
The townhome residences are set aside for active-duty personnel and veterans taking part in career counseling, educational coaching and workforce training offered by Georgia’s VECTR program, a gateway for the re-entry of U.S. military veterans into Georgia’s workforce and its 22 public post-secondary educational systems.
The unveiling of Gateway Pointe I comes less than two months after Pennrose broke ground on an affordable apartment community in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“The city is focused on development, particularly in this area,” Amon Martin, Pennrose’s senior developer, told Multi-Housing News. “This location and area of the city had not seen a new housing development in decades. There is huge demand for quality workforce and market-rate housing. And the VECTR Center had just opened with a need for housing for veterans taking part in their training and education programs. The timing couldn’t have been better.”
Included in Gateway Pointe’s selection of apartments are one-, two- and three-bedroom affordable units available to those earning 50 to 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). Another 31 units are set aside as unrestricted market-rate residences. Among the community’s common-area amenities is a health and wellness room. Gateway Pointe I is a sustainable development complying with EarthCraft Communities standards and High-Performance Building Design criteria.
“There were many upsides with this site,” Martin said. “It is located adjacent to Robins Air Force Base, the largest employer-job center in the city and county. It is also located across the street from the VECTR Center. The land was owned by the city of Warner Robins, and it had just improved the main street, South Armed Forces Boulevard, for connectivity to downtown.”
“The city deeded the land to the development authority, which entered into a long-term ground lease to Pennrose to allow for the housing development. It is adjacent to 10-acre Memorial Park. The city is planning to upgrade and improve Memorial Park, which is a wonderful amenity for Gateway Pointe.”
Financing for the development included $2.5 million of permanent debt from Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital LLC, to be insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, acting by and through the Federal Housing Commissioner.
Another component of financing was $13 million in private equity, of which $7.5 million was offered by JP Morgan Chase through its investment in the federal tax credits syndicated by Hunt Capital Partners LLC., and another $5.5 million was provided by Aetna, a CVS Health company through its investment in the Georgia state tax credits syndicated by Hunt Capital Partners LLC.
Pennrose has developed affordable residential communities for veterans nationwide: Bowman Housing for Veterans in Annapolis, Md.; Truman Square in Edison, N.J.; and Bensalem Veteran Residences in Bensalem, Pa.