south-bend-neighborhood-development

We are offering a variety of informal drop in sessions to learn more about the proposed plans for the redevelopment of the Ford distributing site.

Come by the NNN Offices (1005 Portage Avenue) any time during the times listed below and we will be happy to share the plans.

Thursday, October 24 from 5:00-6:00pm
Saturday, October 26 from 10:00-12pm

Pick a date & time that works for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

This is an affordable housing “tax credit” project. How do tax credits work?
The co-developers (in our case, the NNN, Inc. and The Englewood Group and its affiliate Housing Directions, LLC) must submit an application to the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA). This application is due November 1, 2013. The process for awarding tax credits is statewide and very competitive. Each application is scored based on a comprehensive set of criteria.

If we are successful and are awarded tax credits, we will be notified at the end of February 2014. The tax credits will then be sold to investors in order to raise capital (or equity) for the proposed project. This capital is used to reduce the debt incurred by the project costs, therefore reducing the amount of money the co-developers need to borrow. Lower debt enables lower, more affordable rents for the units developed in the project.

Why isn’t the NNN developing this project on its own? Why bring in a co-developer?
The tax credit process is the last and best opportunity for redeveloping this building and maintaining its character. Over the years, several developers, engineers and contractors have toured the building and have not been able to identify an economical way to redevelop it. The tax credit option could provide necessary funding to redevelop the property. 

Filing an application for a tax credit project is a very complicated and nuanced process. Englewood possesses the experience and knowledge base to complete a successful application and has an excellent track record for tax credit awards.

A critical part of a successful tax credit application is proposing a project that meets the funding criteria of IHCDA. Returning a vacant abandoned structure to productive use, partnering with a local not-for-profit and Englewood’s vast experience provides the best opportunity for redeveloping the Ford building.

How was the co-developer chosen and why was The Englewood Group chosen as the NNN’s co-developer?
The NNN developed and distributed a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) to several companies with experience in developing tax credit projects in Indiana. The NNN chose The Englewood Group as our co-developer based on their exceptional expertise, services, and track record, including the following:

  •  Englewood has been developing affordable housing since 1974,
  •  Englewood has the capacity to provide all necessary services in-house, 
  •  Englewood has successfully completed 72 multifamily projects,
  •  Englewood is responsible for over 2,100 units in three states,
  •  Englewood maintains an average 95% occupancy rate for its portfolio of rentals, 
  •  Englewood has a strong record of tax credit awards; since 2003 the company has submitted 19 successful tax credit applications, 
  •  Englewood is highly respected by IHCDA,
  •  Englewood has a strong commitment to partnership and open communication,
  •  Englewood has experience with adaptive reuse projects.

How many units will the proposed development include?
The proposed development will include 42 units: 29 one bedroom units and 13 two bedroom units. There will also be approximately 4,360 square feet of common space, including:

  •  One first floor commercial space 
  •  Laundry facilities 
  •  An exercise room
  •  Inside bike storage
  •  Community space 
  •  A computer room 

How many parking spaces will be provided for residents?
Current site plans allows for 34 on-site spaces, plus an additional 8 on-street spaces for a total of 42. The NNN has also agreed to allow full use of the 26 spaces in the existing lot located across California Ave (1002 Portage Ave).

An additional 11 on-site parking spaces are anticipated in the near future with the acquisition of a Rex Street property already underway. At a minimum, there are also another seven side street spaces available.

What is the South Bend requirement for parking?
South Bend code calls for two spaces per unit. However, the project is requesting a parking variance, among other zoning variances. Because of the number of variances being requested, the project is being submitted as a Planned Unit Development (PUD).

The PUD process involves reviewing the project as a whole instead of addressing each variance request individually. Based on the 34 on-site spaces, 8 on-street spaces and the 26 spaces available across the street, the project will have 68 parking spaces available – a little more than 1.5 spaces per unit. Considering the total number of bedrooms (55) available within the development, this provides greater than one parking space per bedroom.

This plan is conceptual. How do we know it won’t change to add more units and/or reduce parking in the future?
First, the conceptual plan is part of the tax credit application submitted to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). If tax credits are awarded, the conceptual plan is refined into construction documents based on the conceptual plan. It is very common for minor changes to occur during this process, but the number of units (42) and breakdown of units (29 one bedroom units and 13 two bedroom units) must remain the same. Similarly, the site plan showing 34 on-site parking spaces must remain the same as part of the reviewed and approved project. Additional 26 spaces provided by the NNN will be incorporated and committed to by a memorandum of understanding agreement with the NNN, as well as the potential 11 spaces on Rex Street.

Second, the conceptual plan is the critical component of the Planned Unit Development review. Approval of the PUD will require the development to follow the approved site plan. Any changes (though none are anticipated) would require a request for a zoning change to the PUD, thus allowing for public input.

Third, the NNN has a long history of engaging residents of the near northwest neighborhood and will continue such engagement throughout this project. In addition to the numerous public meetings and public input opportunities already available at this conceptual stage of the project, the NNN will provide many more opportunities for input if the project is awarded tax credits.

Tax Credits are used to fund low-income housing. Who will be eligible to live there?
The IHCDA sets part of the eligibility requirements. Additional non-discriminatory requirements are set by the management company. The eligibility requirements will include:

  • Households 60% or below of Adjusted Median Income (AMI). For a single person this would be an annual income of $24,500,
  • No full time students,
  • Individuals that can pass the following screening:

          – Credit check
          – Criminal background check
          – Previous landlord references
          – Income qualification as shown above.

What about Section-8 individuals?
People qualifying for Section-8 will be eligible provided they meet the above requirements.

I’ve heard a lot about management of the property. How will it be managed?
There will be full time property management staff on site. Additionally, part time maintenance staff will be hired to address maintenance issues in a timely manner.

In order to ensure each unit is maintained at the level expected and described in the tenant agreement, all units will be inspected quarterly by the property manager, maintenance staff, and the regional manager. If tenant agreement violations are identified during these inspections, the tenant will be provided written notice of the violation and will be given a deadline for addressing the violation. Follow-up inspections will be made as necessary and appropriate actions will be taken.

The plans show “retail space” at the corner of Portage and California. What’s that?
Redevelopment of the building will allow for approximately 1500 square feet of retail space at the northernmost point, directly across from the NNN offices. The retail space will be beneficial to the development itself and its residents, as well as the neighborhood as a whole.

The location at the corner of Portage and California will strengthen the possibility for potential retail within the NNN building as well, hopefully leading to a small, centrally located retail node in the center of the neighborhood.