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Tucson Streetcar Draws Affordable Housing

The $18M West End Station, a housing project planned for the western terminus of the streetcar line in Tucson, was awarded a Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Courtesy of The Gadsden Co.

By Becky Pallack for Arizona Daily Star

Tucson is seeing the first signs that the two-year-old streetcar line will be a draw for new affordable housing projects.

Three proposed projects that would add 200 new apartments for low-income residents along the streetcar line have just received Low Income Housing Tax Credit awards from the state.

The tax credits are allocated by the IRS through the Arizona Department of Housing through a competitive application process.

The city committed about $1.5M in federal grant money in support of three of the tax-credit projects for a total of $42.5M in development. There is no federal taxpayer money in the Marist project, but it does include a $350,000 loan from Rio Nuevo, which comes from local sales tax dollars.

Apartment project at Westerner

Of the three new downtown projects, two put old buildings to new use as apartments for low-income seniors.

A project by La Frontera Partners, called West Point Apartments, will renovate and build onto the Westerner office building, the big blue building at the southeast corner of Broadway and South Stone Avenue.

The other reuse project, The Marist on Cathedral Square, will save the crumbling adobe Marist College building when it is renovated as apartments for low-income seniors. That project also includes a new building where the diocese offices are now, at the southeast corner of Broadway and South Church Avenue (AZBEX, June 14, 2016).

A third downtown project is all new construction at the western terminus of the streetcar line. The West End Station project has been touted by Tucson City Councilwoman Regina Romero.

Another La Frontera project that’s not downtown also received tax credits. Miracle Point Apartments, near West Miracle Mile and North Oracle Road, will add 40 apartments for chronically homeless people.

Read more at Arizona Daily Star

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