In mid-May, The Flats at River North, one of downtown’s largest mixed-use developments in terms of its sheer size, number of apartment units, and three large retail spaces, began receiving its first residents. Two weeks ago, Debra Guerrero, senior vice president of strategic partnerships and government relations of NRP Group, the building’s developer, told the Heron that a dozen households had moved into the five-story building.
Overall, The Flats at River North, 1011 Broadway, is composed of 283 units, half of which are being rented at market-rate prices. Ten percent of the units are being reserved for people earning between 50% and 60% of the area median income (AMI), or between $33,400 and $40,800. The rest are reserved for people making up to 80% AMI.
[ Scroll down for a chart showing AMI levels. ]
NRP Group built The Flats at River North in partnership with the San Antonio Housing Trust Public Facility Corp. (PFC), a city nonprofit entity that affords them a full property tax exemption, via a state law, in exchange for delivering below-market rate apartments.
The mammoth building consumes 2.7 acres—a full city block bound by Broadway, Jones Avenue, Avenue E and 10th Street—along the budding Broadway corridor, and a quarter-block south from the Museum Reach segment of the River Walk. It’s also across the street from Maverick Park, which a large part of which was recently renovated to include a dog park.
The Flats at River North adds to other large-scale apartment buildings and complexes on Broadway, including 1221 Broadway and the Rivera nearby, and 1800 Broadway and The Mosaic, which abut the Pearl and its ever-growing mixed-use community.
There are three large retail spaces, one facing Broadway, and two facing Jones Avenue, but no tenants were signed as of last week, said Phillip Halliday of leasing company The Shop Companies.
“Generally, we are targeting things that benefit the neighborhood,” Halliday said. “We’re looking to serve the neighborhood, and serve the tenants in the buildings through our curating of the ground floor there: neighborhood services, and great restaurants and bars.”
Overall, there is more than 17,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
The Flats at River North received a reimbursement grant from the city’s Midtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (last reported worth $680,000) for public upgrades around the building, along with an estimated $1.5 million incentive package from the city’s Center City Housing Incentive Policy, a combination of city and SAWS fee waivers and a mixed-use loan.
The largest incentive, however, is the full property tax exemption courtesy of the San Antonio Housing Trust PFC, an incentive tool that has come under scrutiny from housing advocates and Texas lawmakers this year.