Plans to build 56 affordable apartments on the former site of the Noblesville grain elevator hit a snag Thursday when the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority declined to award the project highly-sought-after Low Income Housing Tax Credits to fund construction.
Of the 62 development proposals submitted last November, just 16 received tax credits; another five- including the $10.5 million Noblesville Granary Elevator and Lofts-were placed on a waiting list.
Due to uncertainty in the equity market, IHCDA did not award all of the available tax credits, holding back a portion for funded projects that may need to request more. Tax credits that have not been reserved by mid-September, however, will be awarded to wait-listed proposals.
Since the Granary project is No. 1 on the wait list, it would be the first to receive leftover credits. HAND is seeking $8.4 million in tax credits for the Granary. If that amount is not available, the development plan could be adjusted to reduce project costs.
"There is a still a strong likelihood that the project will move forward," said Jennifer Miller, HAND executive director.
Low Income Housing Tax Credits are awarded to developers as a way to incentivize private investment in affordable housing. Investors buy the credits, generating revenue to fund projects while reducing their tax liability.
As proposed, the Granary would include a three-story apartment building with more than 10,000 square feet of street-level commercial space leased at below-market rates to draw startups and small businesses.
Located in Noblesville's Southwest Quad, less than six blocks from the courthouse square, the Granary is intended to provide an affordable option for entry-level professionals, artists, entrepreneurs and others.
Rent for the one- and two-bedroom apartments will be based on tenants' income. About 60 percent of the units will rent for $625-$901 per month; the rest will rent for $375-601 per month.
Two other Hamilton County projects also made the waiting list: RealAmerica Development's proposal to build a 63-unit senior apartment community in Noblesville is No. 2, and Blackhawk Commons Limited Partnership's proposal to renovate the old Adams Township School in Sheridan to create 40 affordable apartments is third.
HAND was a consultant on the Sheridan project after its own plan to develop the property failed to win tax credits in 2016.
This is HAND's second attempt to secure tax credits for the Granary. The original proposal called for preserving a portion of the historic wooden grain elevator as a local landmark. Property owner North
Central Co-op has since cleared the 2-acre site.
Founded in 2003, HAND's mission is invest in neighborhoods, provide housing solutions and develop partnership to improve lives and build community in Hamilton County. The not-for-profit organization owns six apartment communities that offer a total of 94 affordable units.
While waiting for a final decision on the Granary project, HAND will move forward with Home Place
Gardens, a 10-unit development planned along 106th Street east of College Avenue in Home Place.
Indianapolis-based consultant Greenstreet Ltd. estimates that demand for affordable housing in Hamilton County exceeds supply by more than 10,000 units.