Council approves revamped loan pool
City officials have found a new use for a federal loan pool that went untapped a few years ago when it was targeted for small business development.
The City Council on Monday gave the OK to seek federal approval to allow the city to use $3.9 million to fund improvements associated with multifamily affordable housing initiatives.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has committed to loan the city this amount. The city’s initial plan was to combine the funds with $5.8 million put up by local banks for a small business loan initiative, which was established in 2010.
None of the funds were ever loaned out, because none of the applicants to the pool qualified.
If HUD approves the city’s request, the money will instead be used to fund infrastructure or acquire land associated with development projects. The first recipient of a loan is slated to be Wynnefield Properties of Jamestown, which plans to develop a 58-unit apartment complex off Samet Drive in north High Point. If it gets the OK from HUD, the city will draw on $1.35 million of the funds to loan to Wynnefield, which it will use to try to leverage tax credit financing for the project.
The site is across the street from Admiral Pointe, a similar project the company developed a few years ago.
The new development, Addington Ridge, would serve older residents and charge rents of $210 to $650 for those earning 40 to 60 percent of the area median income.
If the developer receives the loan, it would repay the city over 20 years, and the city would, in turn use the funds to pay HUD back. The remaining $2.55 million in loan funds will be available for future projects.
Council members discussed whether the loans could be used in support of restoring the former Kilby Hotel property on Washington Street, which was designated unsafe and closed a few months ago.
The property’s owner or someone on their behalf could be eligible for a loan if they’re deemed to be a qualified borrower and meet other conditions, officials said.
Also Monday, council approved a resolution in support of maintaining the state Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, which has provided $161 million in grants to local governments over the past 19 years.
Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget would cut the fund by 44 percent this year and eliminate the funding source for the program next year. High Point has received two PARTF grants — one for the original Washington Terrace Park community building ($250,000) and the other for the Allen Jay Recreation Center ($500,000).
City officials have plans to apply for a PARTF grant to fund completion of High Point’s greenway trail by constructing a 1.1-mile stretch from University Park on Deep River Road to the Piedmont Environmental Center on Penny Road.