Rental Community for Baltimore Teachers Funded by New Markets, Historic Tax Credits

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorBaltimore–Miller’s Court, a 40-unit mixed-use rental community designed especially for Baltimore’s teachers, the organizations that support them and the communities they serve, will be completed by mid-2009. The $21.9 million project will also feature 31,000 sq. ft. of office space and 1,000 sq. ft. of retail space.The project will involve historic rehabilitation of the H.F. Miller and Sons Building, a former tin box manufacturing plant erected at the turn of the 20th century, which has been vacant in Baltimore’s Charles Village neighborhood since the early 1990s. The industrial-style design will feature loft-style apartments with exposed brick and wood beams, a fitness center and a courtyard.The project, which has a total development cost of 21.9 million, is being financed using approximately $10 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) and historic tax credit (HTC) equity, senior debt and subordinated loans from the state of Maryland and the city of Baltimore.Using $9.4 million of its fifth round NMTC allocation, Enterprise provided equity to the project. U.S. Bancorp’s Community Development Corp. was Enterprise’s NMTC and HTC investor. SunTrust CDE is making any additional NMTC and HTC investment.Enterprise hopes that the Miller’s Court project will provide catalytic development in a disinvested section of Baltimore. In addition to creating temporary construction jobs, the project will help to restore to active use a building with historical significance, and in the process help generate development and preserve affordable housing.At least eight of the apartments will be affordable to people earning less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI.) In addition to providing affordable, green living options, the project aims to create a workforce community with a common tenant base, while providing collaborative and economical office space for nonprofits and spurring growth in a disinvested area of the city.Miller’s Court is a brownfield reclamation project and will be built to achieve U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold certification, incorporating sustainable design with energy-efficient technology, water-conserving systems and low-emission materials. The project’s transit-oriented design will make it one of a growing number of walkable communities in Baltimore.