Construction is set to move forward on the second phase of an ambitious three-phase effort to redevelop the Robert Hitch Village housing complex in East Savannah, Georgia, with the recent closing of $19 million in financing for the program, led by the Housing Authority of Savannah (HAS).
Under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the housing authority has partnered with Hunt Companies, Inc., a leading real estate development company, to rebuild Robert Hitch Village, which was demolished in 2010. RAD allows public housing agencies to convert public housing properties to long-term Section 8 rental assistance contracts. With federal funding in place under a long-term contract, RAD attracts private investment for much-needed improvements to housing stock. A team from Ballard Spahr, led by Partner Jere G. Thompson and including Partner Amy M. McClain and Associate Kimberly D. Magrini, represented Hunt in the Phase II financing transaction, which closed late last month.
Phase II calls for construction of 100 energy-efficient units in four buildings, consisting of a mix of affordable and market-rate units. Phase II also includes a community center, playgrounds, and picnic area. The development budget of approximately $19 million comprises Low Income Housing Tax Credits, equity, private loans, and a HAS loan.
Redevelopment of Robert Hitch Village is the cornerstone of HAS's plan to transform the East Savannah Gateway under HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Redevelopment of the site as a mixed-income, mixed-finance community will create a vibrant neighborhood that will transform not only the targeted public housing units, but the surrounding Wheaton Street Corridor.
Construction is already underway on Robert Hitch Village Phase I after financing closed last spring. Ballard Spahr also represents Hunt on Phase I. It will include 72 mixed-income apartments with amenities including in-unit laundry, on-site parking, and a community building with a fitness center, computer room, patio, and barbecue area.
Financing for the third phase of the Robert Hitch Village development is expected to close in 2018.