By Keith Loria
Weston Associates has acquired Ivy Tower, a 140-unit affordable housing community in Newport News, Va.
“It is a great property in a great location and it is our belief that we can add value to the property and contribute to the neighborhood in a positive manner,” Michael J. Packard, Weston Associates’ vice president of operations, told MHN. “Our company has a proven track record of acquiring and rehabilitating aging affordable communities. The preservation and rehabilitation of the property will be a big win for both the residents and the community as a whole. We are pleased to be able to be a catalyst for this change.”
The 12-story property is situated on the waterfront in the southeast community section of the city, and features incredible views of the James River.
Approximately 50 percent of the units in the building are rented to seniors or people with disabilities, who are entitled to federal rent subsidies on the basis of their income.
Amenities include a playground, on-site laundry, waterfront location, 24-hour maintenance and professional management.
“There are great things shaping up to take place in the southeast community and the revitalization of this community will be a big part of the beginning of the neighborhood’s revitalization,” Packard said.
The building was completed in 1972, and was at risk of becoming functionally obsolete and lost as an affordable housing asset until Weston Associates stepped in.
According to Packard, the company is planning a comprehensive, multi-million dollar renovation of the property, including full replacements and upgrades of the building systems (i.e. fire alarm, elevators, new central heating and cooling system), building exterior (windows/doors, replacement of the building facade), building interiors (new ADA bathrooms, laundry room, management office, common area flooring and painting) and apartment interiors (new flooring, kitchen cabinets, appliances, plumbing fixtures new lighting and apartment painting throughout).
The renovations are expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
To acquire the property, Weston Associates received a loan from Love Funding through US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 221(d) (4) program, with additional LIHTC bridge financing provided by Sterling Bank. It also was helped by the use of tax exempt debt from Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority and 4 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Virginia Housing Development Authority along with a renewal of the HUD project based Section 8 contract.
Weston Associates has almost 50 years of experience in affordable housing with expertise in development, management and construction.