Traverse City News and Events

Senior Housing Complex Proposed for Depot Neighborhood

Sept. 14, 2015

Traverse City commissioners will hear from a developer interested in building a senior housing development in the Depot Neighborhood at a 7pm study session tonight (Monday) at the Governmental Center.

Craig Patterson of The Woda Group says his company purchased a vacant parcel at 520 Railroad Avenue in early September and hopes to construct a 60-unit senior development on the site. Patterson is seeking a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement with the city to build "restricted but affordable" apartments he says would "help seniors obtain quality, safe and energy-efficient housing in Traverse City."

Tentatively called the Depot Commons, the proposal calls for a five-floor residential building with an elevator and community room on the first floor. Units will have water-saving faucets/toilets, Energy Star appliances, abundant insulation and other "green" features that will qualify the property for Enterprise Green Communities certification, says Patterson. The PILOT agreement Woda seeks would see the developer pay six percent of annual rental income from the property to local taxing jurisdictions rather than traditional tax rates, plus a $12,000 annual payment to the city for municipal services. The value of the six-percent PILOT is estimated at $18,200 annually with 100 percent occupancy.

The Woda Group, hoping to apply for Michigan State Housing Development Authority funding by October 1, has asked city commissioners to decide on the PILOT agreement before that date. If there is support for the agreement at tonight's study session, commissioners could vote on the agreement as soon as their regular September 21 meeting, according to City Manager Marty Colburn. The Woda Group had previously pursued a PILOT agreement for affordable housing as part of the proposed nine-story Pine Street development, but is now delaying that request after property owners withdrew their special land use permit application from the city.

Pictured above: Proposed site of the Depot Commons on Railroad Avenue.

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