George “Sonny” Carey says the sites had been community eyesores for decades.
“Everybody wanted something done about it and nobody had the power to get it done,” he says.
That’s when Indianapolis-based Herman & Kittle stepped in. When the company proposed an adaptive reuse project to turn the parcels into much needed affordable housing, Carey and other members of the local community revitalization not-for-profit organization, Little Italy Festival Town Inc., (LIFT) were skeptical.
But after taking a deep dive into Herman and Kittle’s proposal and background, the organization decided to get on board and a partnership was born to clean up the trash-ridden sites.
LIFT became the owners of a new $8.1 million community, Meadow Park. The community is composed of two sites where a shuttered garment factory and a former manufacturing site once stood. The former garment factory was completely restored into The Lofts while the manufacturing site’s shell of a building was torn down and became The Villas. The community boasts 60 units of housing and seven are especially designed for tenants with disabilities.
The community will be managed by Herman & Kittle. Jenice Myers, development services manager at Herman & Kittle, says the company was notified of the need for affordable housing in Clinton through a consultant and found the adaptive reuse project as a viable way to fulfill that need.
“We began talking to city officials and people in the community about what they wanted to see in the community,” Myers says. “And this is what we came up with.”
All of the units will be available for residents earning 30 to 60 percent of the area median income.
Although the two sites are just over a mile apart, they’ll share a leasing and business operation office, which will be centralized in The Villas. And each part of the community will have a stellar amenity package including a dog park, fitness centers and a computer center.
Low income housing tax credits were awarded in Feb. 2013 in correlation with the Community Action Agency of Western Indiana getting involved and vowing to provide an array of supportive services to residents including adult education, meal preparation and mentor programs.
The property began leasing recently. The Lofts were completely leased by August, Carey says. The Villas were still in lease-up as of mid-August.
“They were very bad looking facilities,” Carey says. “But now, I’ve had a lot of people say, ‘Boy, it’s looking good now!’”
Lindsay Machak is an Associate Editor for Multifamily Executive. Connect with her on Twitter @LMachak.