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Breaking ground

The Gazette

February 3, 2010

By George C. Ford

CEDAR RAPIDS — A new affordable housing complex for seniors in northwest Cedar Rapids is expected to open this fall.

Ground was broken Tuesday for Cedar Crest Apartments, an $8.8 million, 45-unit development at 1100 O Ave. NW for seniors age 55 or older. The project will be located on a hill just west of the Time Check neighborhood.

MetroPlains LLC of St. Paul, Minn., is developer of the 2.1-acre Cedar Crest Apartments, which will involve redevelopment of a three-story farmhouse into community space for residents.

The layout and character of the 110 year-old farmhouse will be retained as it is connected to the new L-shaped building. Cedar Crest will overlook the Time Check neighborhood and nearby Harrison Elementary School, which some tenants may have attended.

Plans call for the apartment building to include underground parking.

Point Builders LLC of Cedar Rapids is the general contractor for the project.

Rents will range from $449 to $582 per month for a one-bedroom unit, depending on the tenant’s income. A two-bedroom unit will rent for $534 to $659 a month, depending on income.

Seniors interested in living at Cedar Crest Apartments can call the leasing office at (319) 213-3938 for more information.

Cedar Crest Apartments will be financed with a $3.84 million low-income housing tax credit equity investment from Enterprise Community Investment Inc. of Columbia, Md., and investment financing from MetroPlains and Blackridge Bank of Bismarck, N.D.

Public funding will involve housing tax credits allocated by the Iowa Finance Authority, funded by the disaster relief bill of 2009, and Tax Credit Assistance Program funds provided in the 2009 federal stimulus bill.

The City of Cedar Rapids also provided financing with Community Develop ment Block Grant funds through the disaster relief bill of 2009 and HOME funds from the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

HOME is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. Each year it allocates about $2 billion among states and communities nationwide.

Carla Pope, director of affordable rental production for the Iowa Finance Authority, said the agency invested almost $17 million of federal housing tax credits in projects in Linn County in fiscal year 2009. The tax credits created 263 new units of affordable housing for hardworking residents, she said.

Enterprise Community Investment has financed more than $67 million in tax credit equity and loans to rehabilitate or redevelop more than 1,000 affordable and market-rate homes in Iowa.

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