Last year, as the massive 283-unit apartment project on the southwest corner of Broadway and Jones Avenue pursued pre-construction approvals, it was a development without a name. That changed recently.
Cleveland-based developer NRP Group and the San Antonio Housing Trust Public Facility Corp. (PFC) recently broke ground on The Flats at River North, a $55.9 million, five-story development located at 1011 Broadway. Fencing advertising the new name surrounds the 2.7-acre property that’s a quarter-block from the Museum Reach on one end, and across from Maverick Park, on the other side of Broadway, on another.
Through an agreement between NRP Group, which has built more than 8,000 apartment units in San Antonio since 2003, and the city-created nonprofit San Antonio Housing Trust PFC, The Flats at River North will provide a range of rents according to income. Half will be priced at market-rate. Ten percent of the unit total will be reserved for people making between 50 and 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), or between $33,400 and $40,800, respectively, according to the current figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The rest will be priced for households making 80 percent AMI.
The area median income (AMI) for a family of four in the greater San Antonio area (including New Braunfels) is $66,800, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Here’s how it breaks down for lower-income households:
» 80% – $53,440
» 60% – $40,080
» 50% – $33,400
» 40% – $26,720
» 30% – $20,400
* — Editor’s note: HUD recently released the new AMI for the greater San Antonio area as $71,000 for a family of four. This figure isn’t expected to take effect until late spring, early summer.
An inquiry to two top NRP Group officials—Vice President of Development Travis Sheffield and Vice President of Governmental Affairs Debra Guerrero—about anticipated rents was not returned and instead was forwarded to national public relations firm Antenna Spaces.
“We are very pleased to work with the stakeholders and partners in The Flats at River North to help bring much needed workforce housing to San Antonio,” NRP Group said through the firm.
In the Flats deal, a tenant would be charged 30 percent of their income, a rent restriction that’s intended to make the units truly affordable. However, NRP Group—which is the developer, the builder and the management company for The Flats—can charge up to 35 percent of a tenant’s income at any time.
The project is scheduled for completion in spring 2021, and the first move-ins are expected in late 2020.
The development will also add about 15,000 square feet of retail, most likely restaurants, on two floors.
The project is due to receive a grant worth $680,000 from the Midtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ), a city-designated area that generates revenue from the rise in property taxes. The revenue is reinvested into projects within the zone.
The Center City Housing Incentive Policy is also contributing $1.5 million, a combination of city and SAWS fee waivers and a mixed-use loan.
The largest incentive is a full property tax exemption that’s granted under state law to developers who partner with PFCs on affordable housing projects. Under the statute, a project such as The Flats at River North is eligible for a full property tax exemption if half the units are rented to households making at least 80 percent of the area median income.
There are a handful of PFCs operating in San Antonio, but by far the most active one is the San Antonio Housing Trust PFC, which has produced notable apartment projects Cevallos Lofts and The Baldwin, among others. The San Antonio Housing Trust PFC is a creation of the City of San Antonio, and is run by the City Council members representing Districts 1-5.
Here’s roughly how these PFC projects work:
For more background on The Flats at River North, and PFCs, read: