Danedri Thompson
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Council members lent their support to a developer seeking tax credits to build a low-income apartment complex in Gardner.
Overland Property Group submitted an application to the Kansas Department of Housing in August for tax credits to build up to 48 units in three apartment buildings in Gardner’s Waverly Pointe subdivision in August.

Brett Johnson, a representative of the property company, told council members their resolution of support for the project would be submitted to the state to supplement their application for the tax credits.

“(The resolution) allows us to continue applying, but it doesn’t guarantee we’ll be approved by the state,” Johnson said.

The resolution also doesn’t guarantee that a necessary revision to the Waverly Pointe preliminary development would be approved by the council or by the planning commission.

Under a plan approved in 2007, the property, located approximately one-eighth of a mile from north of 175th Street on Waverly Road, has preliminary approval for 158 townhouses in 32 buildings. The approximately nine acres being considered for the apartment buildings would house approximately 96 townhomes under the preliminary plan.

If granted tax credits from the state, Overland Property Group would like to build up to 48 low-income apartment units in three buildings instead. The proposal would also include a clubhouse.

Although only seeking approval for up to 48 units, Johnson said the first phase of development would likely only include 32 units in two buildings.

However, Johnson said his organization would like the option to build another 16 without repeating the process.
In the future, Johnson said Overland Property Group developers see potential for up to 80 apartment units on the site.

“As far as traffic impacts, it will certainly not be more than what’s already planned,” he said.

Overland Property Group is competing with 18 other developers for the state’s affordable housing tax credits. The state will announce tax credit winners in December. Johnson said if they are awarded the credits, construction could start on the site as early as March. He estimated construction would take up to eight months, and he expected to have the buildings fully leased within eleven months of the construction start.

“Our demand study showed very strong demand in Gardner,” Johnson told the council.

There is a lack of affordable housing in Gardner when we average out rent costs in town, he said.

The average rent in Gardner is $978 per month. With the tax credits, Johnson said the new apartment units could offer rents between $550 and $600 for a three-bedroom, two-bath apartment. Tenants would have to meet certain income requirements.

Overland Property Group only has an option on the property in Waverly Pointe. If they fail to earn the tax credits, Johnson said they could re-apply for tax credits a second time next year.

“Or it’s possible we would let our options expire,” he said.