ECISD Makes Big Investment In Luxury Apartment Complex With Affordable Units 6/19/13
CBS 7 News
June 19, 2013
ODESSA-In a 6-1 vote, ECISD decided to invest 3.25 million dollars in a downtown Odessa apartment complex development in partnership with medical center hospital and the Odessa Housing Finance Corporation, all to secure spots for teachers.
"They can't find any place to live, so right now they have teachers doubling up with teachers if they have extra room,” said Jill Miller, executive director of the Odessa Housing Finance Corporation.
The cost of the project comes in about the same as a similar project with MISD--which is providing manufactured homes for incoming staff. Beaty says the difference is that this is an investment.
"With the cost it would take to do that, it was going to be really expensive, with no return on the investment,” said ECISD Board of Trustees President Ray Beaty.
ECISD will get a ten percent return--turning their cash into $4 to 5 million after 3-5 years.
“We know the challenges with recruiting in our area and this will help tremendously,” Beaty said.
MCH donated this parking lot as the site for the new apartment complex, which will have it's own parking across the street.
So who will get the 75 units? Beaty says they're not sure, but current teachers are being considered.
"Much of it will be on an as needed basis and it will depend on availability and what’s needed,” Beaty said.
The units for ECISD are expected to cost $632 for efficiencies all the way to $1581 for three bedrooms, raising questions about affordability. Beaty says they are cheaper than some apartments in the area.
"The project itself is tax exempt, so we are able to charge lower than what the average price per square foot is right now," said Jill Miller.
The complex is slated to set aside approximately half of its units for affordable income-based housing for those who fall below 80 percent of the median income in the area. There will also be retail shopping and possibly a restaurant in the bottom floor.
The housing corporation says they should close the deal over the next 5-6 months and then start construction, which should finish by the summer of 2015.