Gateway Pointe I serves families and veterans in Warner Robins, Georgia.
Gateway Pointe I serves families and veterans in Warner Robins, Georgia.

Leading affordable housing developer Pennrose has started construction on the second phase of a mixed-income development for families and veterans in the bustling military city of Warner Robins, Georgia.

Pennrose worked with the city and the Development Authority of the City of Warner Robins to strategically identify city-owned land in an area in need of affordable housing with close proximity to the Georgia Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center (VECTR). Working with these stakeholders, the developer identified the critical needs for the two phases of housing: workforce, market rate, and student housing for veterans participating in VECTR programs.

Located directly across from the Robins Air Force Base, Gateway Pointe II will include 90 mixed-income units—75 units will be for households earning up to 50% and 60% of the area median income (AMI), and 15 will be market rate, with five units set aside for veterans for an initial five-year period pursuant to an agreement with the neighboring VECTR. These units will be fully furnished short-term housing for veterans enrolled in programs, such as career counseling, educational coaching, and workforce training, at the center. The second phase is scheduled for completion by end of September 2021.

The first phase, which was completed in December 2019, also includes 90 units—18 are at 50% of the AMI, 41 are at 60% of the AMI, and 31 are market rate. Five units are targeted for use by veterans who are taking part in VECTR programs. In addition, the first phase is at full capacity with 112 households on the wait list.

The $15.5 million first phase was financed with state and federal low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity syndicated by Hunt Capital Partners. It also received a Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 221(d)(4) construction loan, with Bellwether Enterprise as the lender.

Hunt Capital Partners also closed $12.2 million in federal and state LIHTC equity for the $16.9 million second phase. Hunt facilitated the investment of federal tax credit equity through its multi-investor fund, Hunt Capital Partners Tax Credit Fund 41, and the state tax credit equity through its proprietary fund, Hunt Capital Partners Tax Credit Fund 18, with Aetna, a CVS Health company. Bank OZK provided the construction loan, and Grandbridge Real Estate Capital through Freddie Mac provided a permanent loan commitment.

“What distinguishes Gateway Pointe II from other developments is that it not only meets a housing need for low-income families and veterans, but it also enhances their overall health and wellness,” said Dana Mayo, executive managing director of Hunt Capital Partners. “Monthly preventive health screenings and healthy eating education courses are some of the programs that will be provided to on site.”

Residents will have access to these wellness-oriented programs free of charge. At least once a month, the Houston County Health Department will provide health screenings, flu shots, CRP training, lab tests, and dietician consults. The University of Georgia Extension Office of Houston County also will provide healthy eating education around the community garden.

“Providing affordable housing options, as well as access to preventive health and wellness services, can truly have a significant impact on the overall health and well-being of the veterans in the Warner Robins community,” said R.J. Briscione, senior director of social determinants of health strategy and execution at CVS Health. “These individuals have given so much to our country, we feel it is our responsibility to help support them on their path to better health.”

Pennrose’s development team for both phases includes the Development Authority of the City of Warner Robins as the ground lessor, Capstone Building Corp. as the general contractor, Kitchen and Associates as the architect, and Envolve Client Services as the property manager.