Supporters and partners joined developer Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. to celebrate the construction start at Five Points Crossing, a new affordable general occupancy community to be built at 213 Rose Street in downtown Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Five Points Crossing will provide 50 high-quality affordable apartment homes for residents who earn up to 60% of area median income. The 4-story, $9.4 million facility will offer 28 one bedroom units and 22 two-bedroom apartments, with six units with features for those with disabilities. There will be an elevator, a community room with kitchenette, a fitness room, playground, covered picnic area with BBQ grills, and a covered roof top terrace providing great views of Rocky Mount.
The creation of Five Points Crossing is in direct response to the City of Rocky Mount’s efforts to further economic development downtown and address the area’s significant need for affordable housing units magnified by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The hurricane and resulting flooding left over 1,000 rental households applying for assistance through FEMA according to University of North Carolina School of Government (UNC School of Government) documents. At the time, it was estimated that approximately 2,200 low-income households living in rental units in Edgecombe County (where Rocky Mount is located) were severely cost burdened or paying greater than 50% of its monthly income on housing.
In the fall of 2019, the City of Rocky Mount enlisted UNC School of Government to guide it through a comprehensive development plan to create general occupancy affordable housing on city-owned land downtown. The process utilized the Public-Private Partnerships for Housing program aligned with the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR). Through a highly competitive proposal review, the City selected Woda Cooper Companies to develop Five Points Crossing.
“It is exciting to see more housing options coming to our community,” said Mayor Sandy Roberson. “More people living downtown brings more energy and continued economic growth in Rocky Mount.”
Financing for the project includes HUD Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery funds provided by NCORR. “The Five Points Crossing project is a great opportunity to increase affordable housing in an area of longstanding need,” said NCORR Director Laura Hogshead. “It aligns perfectly with our mission to rebuild storm-impacted communities, while increasing future resilience.”
In addition to the disaster relief funding, equity financing for Five Points Crossing was generated through 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits allocated by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency. “The Agency is proud to play a part in the development of Five Points Crossing,” said Scott Farmer, Executive Director for NC Housing Finance Agency. “This groundbreaking represents a hopeful future for citizens of Rocky Mount who will have renewed access to affordable housing options they can be proud to call home.”
Merchants Capital invested in the tax credits to provide primary financing needed to ensure the project’s affordability. RiverHills Bank provided a first mortgage, and Merchants Bank of Indiana provided tax-exempt and taxable loans used in combination for the construction debt.
“It was our great privilege to work alongside Woda Cooper Companies on yet another crucial affordable housing community,” said Josh Reed, Senior Vice President at Merchants Capital. “We’re thankful for the efforts made in bringing this project to life, as it will play a significant part in the economic growth and development of Rocky Mount, all while creating more opportunities for necessary affordable housing in the area.
All apartments have kitchens with ENERGY STAR appliances, including dishwashers, central electric heat and air conditioning, washer/dryer closets with connections, window blinds, and each apartment has a dedicated storage area. Units are pre-wired for cable, telephone, and internet access.
“Five Points Crossing will be an exciting addition to Rocky Mount with 50 new energy-efficient and attractive affordable homes for those who work or desire to live in the city’s core. It will be close to the many amenities and happenings downtown and with a rooftop terrace, it will offer gorgeous views across Rocky Mount,” said Denis Blackburne, Senior Vice President of Development at Woda Cooper Companies. “We were very honored to be chosen to collaborate with the City of Rocky Mount to expand new housing options while also working with NC Housing Finance Agency, NCORR, as well as our private investors and lenders.”
Woda Construction, Inc. is general contractor, with architecture by Raleigh-based TightLines Designs, civil engineering by Baldwin Engineering, Inc., structural engineering by Fluhrer Reed, and green building consultation by E2 Technologies. Woda Cooper Companies’ management division will oversee leasing and property management.
Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. and its affiliates specialize in the development, design, construction, and management of high-quality affordable multi-family apartments, senior communities, and single-family homes. The company was founded May 2, 1990 and now has operations in 16 states with a portfolio of approximately 400 communities and 16,000 units. Green building is standard with certifications including Passive House, Zero Energy Ready Homes, LEED, Enterprise Green, EarthCraft, and ENERGY STAR. Woda Cooper has offices in Savannah, GA; Indianapolis, IN; Shelbyville, KY; Queenstown, MD; Mackinaw City, MI; Columbus, OH; and Norfolk, VA. Affordable Housing Finance magazine ranked Woda Cooper Companies 10th in nation among Developers and 17th among Owners in 2022.
Source: Karen Bernick, Woda Cooper Companies