Affordable Development Brings Jobs to Central Maryland Town

An investment by Boston Capital is helping make possible the development of Marley Meadows, a new 36-unit affordable multifamily community in the central Maryland town of Glen Burnie.

Glen Burnie, Md.—An investment by Boston Capital is helping make possible the development of Marley Meadows, a new 36-unit affordable multifamily community in the central Maryland town of Glen Burnie. Now under construction, the family-oriented development is slated to welcome its first move-ins in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Marley Meadows will consist of three three-story buildings, across which will be spread 10 one-bedroom, 17 two-bedroom and nine three-bedroom units. The apartments will offer dishwashers, walk-in closets, patios and balconies, ceiling fans, central air conditioning, energy-efficient plumbing and electrical fixtures, as well as Energy Star appliances. Also part of the development is a 600-square-foot community room, covered parking, computer lab and playground.

Units will be available to families earning no more than 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI).

One factor attracting Boston Capital to this endeavor was a chance to work again with Rochester, NY-based Conifer Realty LLC the general partner. The two have joined forces to invest in 39 previous properties, totaling 2,500 units.

Marley Meadows will be built using tax credit equity from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.

The primary obstacle to making the project a reality was the challenge of obtaining the pilot agreement, a payment in lieu of taxes. “The taxes are lower on this property than they would be on a non-affordable housing community,” Boston Capital vice president and assistant director of acquisitions Scott Arrighi tells MHN. “As part of the process in obtaining the pilot agreement, the developers needed to go before what in Glen Burnie is a seven-person council, many members of which were newly elected. The sponsor, Conifer, had to educate a number of members on what an affordable housing community is.”

Once Conifer had explained the benefits of affordable housing to new council members, the pilot agreement was passed, but only by a narrow four-to-three margin.

Glen Burnie, home to approximately 67,000 residents as of the 2010 Census, sits 10 miles south of Baltimore and 15 miles northwest of Annapolis, in Anne Arundel County. Prior to tackling the project, Boston Capital conducted its own market study, finding market-rate occupancy rates were 96 percent in Glen Burnie. “The rents for the affordable housing community are to be significantly lower than the market-rate rents,” Arrighi says.

Marley Meadows residents will have plenty of opportunity to walk, as sidewalks exist just outside the property, Arrighi says, noting the Glen Burnie town center is about three miles away from Marley Meadows. “There are sidewalks along that entire route, with shopping and employment along the way,” he adds.

Construction of Marley Meadows will result in creation of approximately 55 new local jobs, according to Arrighi. In addition to creating jobs and boosting the local economy, a new construction project such as this one typically spurs increased local incomes, as well as taxes and other revenue for the local government. In short, the low-income tax credit, which funded this project, carries a great many benefits, he observes.

Supportive services at Marley Meadows will be provided to families and children by the Boys & Girls Club of Anne Arundel County.