Arizona

Housing for seniors to be built in downtown Phoenix

New housing for low-income, disabled and older adults will soon be under construction in downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Neighborhood.

A Wisconsin company, Gorman & Company, has received a $3 million loan from the Phoenix Housing Department for the affordable housing project on the northeastern corner of Fifth Avenue and McKinley Street.

Funding for the loan comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through an entitlement grant for affordable housing. The loan will be approved as soon as the developer has proof of other funding and has completed an environmental review of the site, where a vacant one-story office building has sat for years.

A Gorman & Company spokeswoman, Sheryl Bettencort, wrote in a news release that the building will be replaced with a three-story housing complex.

Called the “Lofts at McKinley,” the complex will be open to anyone 55 and older whose income is $18,680 per year to $39,960 per year, which is about 40 percent to 60 percent of the Phoenix area’s median income.

Sixty units are expected to be open to residents by the time construction is completed, likely by fall 2012. The firm that designed the apartments, Acanthus Architects, has planned 11 types of spaces within the project, including flats or two-story townhomes. The units range from 650 square feet to 1,019 square feet.

Monthly rents will range from $394 to $719.

City documents show the construction could cost up to $14.3 million.

In addition to the Phoenix housing loan, city documents show Gorman & Company plans to cover construction costs with about $9 million in equity through the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, $1.5 million from the Arizona Department of Housing, a deferred developer fee and some private financing.

Gorman & Company has become more active in the Valley.

It recently entered a public-private partnership with Grace Community Church in Tempe to build affordable senior housing on the property near Apache Boulevard and McClintock Drive, where the church has operated Grace’s Thrift Store. It is on the Metro light-rail line and near a light-rail station.

Gorman & Company also has opened another affordable housing project in Glendale, near West Glendale and 63rd avenues.

The company appears ready to build in downtown Phoenix. It recently obtained city approval for a construction staging area for the site to cordon off space for demolition, construction and equipment.

City records indicate Gorman is paying the city a monthly use fee of $1,137 for one year for the staging area, and it will set up a 6-foot chain-link fence around the property during construction.