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Springfield City Council will vote Monday on whether to approve a $300,000 loan for Nordic Landing, a development planned for 810 W. Catalpa St., adjoining the Grant Avenue Parkway corridor.
Brendan Griesemer, the city’s assistant director of planning development, told council at its July 25 meeting that the $9 million, 44-unit affordable housing development will include five market-rate units, seven units for youth aging out of foster care and the rest as affordable housing for people with qualifying incomes. The units will have one or two bedrooms.
Griesemer said the developer, DHTC Development LLC, is coordinating with the Missouri Housing and Development Commission for a share of the city’s Home funds. The city’s participation would be a $300,000 loan at 0.75% interest amortized over 20 years with monthly payments from the developer.
“This project would assist in closing the gap on much-needed housing,” he said.
At the council meeting, Debra Shantz Hart of DHTC Development acknowledged that a $300,000 grant is not a necessary financial component in a $9 million project, but it does demonstrate the city’s support in a stronger way than a letter would.
“The reason we requested funds from the city is because we wanted to show that the city was supportive of this project,” she said.
MHDC approves only 33% of the applications for funding it receives, she said.
“This layer of financing shows city support, and we think that that’s meaningful when they have a very competitive cycle trying to figure out what projects they’re going to fund,” she said.
Hart said the project would be very positive for the area.
“It is really a bad place right now in terms of the existing structures or the ones that are left,” she said.
Councilperson Andrew Lear agreed that the city needs to be supportive of projects like this one.
“We all want and need for the new (Grant Avenue) parkway to be successful,” he said. “Cleaning up the blight that exists adjacent to it is certainly critical for that, and part of the whole reason for doing it.”
Councilperson Richard Ollis agreed.
“If it’s not the worst area in Springfield, it is darn close,” Ollis said. “I could not get my truck in reverse fast enough to get out of there for fear – I’m not kidding – of the people coming out of whatever that is in there, so thank you for being willing to take that on.”
Ollis said the project is a win on other fronts as well, as it provides affordable housing for residents and jump-starts the parkway.
“We want and need development along that parkway, and I think this can be a part of that,” he said.
The project sits on 6 acres, and the building will take up 2.8 of those, with much of the rest of the property in a flood plain, Hart said. She added that future development will have to be creative because of that geographic factor.
Hart said she would like to create accessibility to the Grant Avenue Parkway from the north side with a bridge.
“I think that tells a great story,” she said. “It can be an enhancement for the entire neighborhood.”
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