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Charity Plans 2 PHX Affordable MF Projects

Credit: City of Phoenix

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Phoenix’s Planning and Development Department is considering a pair of proposals from subsidiaries of Catholic Charities Community Services of Arizona to build low-income apartment developments near 19th Avenue and Camelback.

Manzanita Village is proposed for 72 veteran- and family-targeted units on a 0.77 gross acre site south of the SEC of 19th Avenue and Colter Street. Mesquite Terrace, to the south of Manzanita Village, will put in place 80 senior-focused units on 0.85 acres.

A 2017 report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition identified a significant lack of available affordable housing units in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area. The group identifies families of Extremely Low Income as those with income at or below the Poverty Guideline or 30 percent of the Area Median Income, whichever is lower. NLIHC lists a deficit of more than 116,000 units for those at or below ELI and more than 119,000 for those at or below AMI. Nationwide, those totals are 7.3 million and 8 million, respectively.

Manzanita Village will offer 28 one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom and 24 three-bedroom units. The site plan calls for a four-story wood-framed building over a concrete podium. Ground level includes parking, three units and a community room, a communal open space area, a lobby, office space and bicycle storage. Upper levels include laundry rooms and a community area mixed with apartments.

Mesquite Terrace will have 32 one-bedroom, 24 two-bedroom and 24 three-bedroom spaces. Its plan is also for a four-story wood-framed building over concrete. The ground floor includes parking, a lobby, and three apartments with patios facing 19th Avenue. A common entry will be located off a proposed entry plaza adjacent to 19th. The upper levels have two community rooms and a combined interior courtyard/outdoor gathering area.

Existing underused office and retail buildings on the larger 4.97-acre subject site will be retained, and future development has not been determined.

Given the projects’ proximity to light rail and location within the Solano Transit Oriented Development District, walkability, shade and other TOD design guidelines apply. One area in which the developer will have to employ some creativity will be along 19th Avenue. According to the planning staff report, “Multiple utility conflicts have been identified running parallel with the proposed sidewalk along the 19th Avenue frontage reducing the ability to plant shade trees in the required minimum five-foot-wide landscape strip between the sidewalk and back of curb. These utility conflicts will require the applicant to consider structural shade elements, trellises or covered walkways attached to the primary building in order to meet the minimum building and shade requirements.”

To achieve the goal of providing affordable housing, Catholic Charities Community Services will apply for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from the Arizona Department of Housing. If granted, the properties will have to remain affordable for a minimum of 30 years.

Housing for Hope, Inc. is the development entity for Manzanita Village. Mesquite Terrace will be developed by Newport Southwest, LLC. Both are subsidiaries of Catholic Charities Community Services of Arizona. Architectural Resource Team is the architect for both, and Cypress Civil Development is both projects’ civil engineer.

According to Doug McCord, principal and director of design at Architectural Resource Team, no general contractor has been chosen yet. He hopes to have approval this summer and to start construction in Spring, 2019. Construction is estimated to take 14 months.

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