The Brunswick Urban Redevelopment Agency on Tuesday voted to enter into a sale and financing agreement with a developer to build housing on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Brunswick.
The URA voted unanimously to sell the city-owned 4.36-acre parcel on MLK between M and O streets to Kingsland-based W.H. Gross Construction Co. for $600,000. Gross Construction will develop the site into more than 50 units of affordable housing.
As part of the agreement, the agency will take the $600,000 and loan $550,000 back to Gross Construction to finance the development. In addition to a 1 percent origination fee, Gross Construction will pay a 3 percent interest rate — not to exceed the IRS’s applicable federal rate — during the 15-year payback period.
The closing will not happen until after November, when the state Department of Community Affairs will say whether or not the housing development qualifies for low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC). The LIHTCs, if awarded, would be the primary source of funding for the roughly $11 million project, according to Bill Gross, Gross Construction’s owner.
By helping to fund the project, the Urban Redevelopment Agency makes Gross Construction’s proposal to the state more likely to be awarded the LIHTCs.
Area residents may be most familiar with the site as the location where cleanup crews dumped and chipped debris after hurricanes Irma and Matthew.
Gross Construction’s proposal says it plans to build eight one-bedroom apartments, 26 two-bedrooms, 20 three-bedrooms. Each unit will have a direct exterior entrance, range stove and oven, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator and other amenities.
The development will include a fitness center, community kitchen for events, outdoor recreation and other features.
If the LIHTCs are approved in November, construction would likely begin in May or April of 2019, with the goal of completing construction in 18 months.
Gross Construction previously built the Norwich Street Commons housing development on Norwich Street in Brunswick.
The company was founded in 1983 and has had an average of $20 million annually in sales over the last 10 years. It has completed other construction projects in Georgia and Florida, and employs more than 20 people.
Most of Gross Construction’s projects are residential, commercial or light-industrial in nature, according to the company’s report to city officials.