By: Bill Callen, Racer Trust—
Commonwealth to Build 35-Unit Affordable Housing Development
Muncie, IN — RACER Trust today announced it has completed the sale of approximately 5.7 acres in Muncie to Commonwealth Development Corporation of America, which plans to develop 35 units of affordable housing. The first units are expected to be available for lease in the fall of 2018.
“These homes will provide modern, affordable housing near excellent urban amenities to families on the Southside of Muncie,” said Elliott P. Laws, of EPLET, LLC, administrative trustee of RACER Trust. “We commend Commonwealth Development for its investment, and the City of Muncie for supporting the sale and redevelopment of RACER property. We are working diligently to sell our remaining land in Muncie for beneficial reuse, and look forward to helping attract additional economic development to the community.”
The property purchased by Commonwealth Development is along West 8th Street and was part of the 65.3 remaining acres of RACER Trust land in the city. Commonwealth is expected to construct three buildings, two with 12 housing units and the other with 11, in a development to be named Fourteen91 Lofts.
Residents will have lease-to-own opportunities, with a portion of monthly rent going toward the down payment. PathStone Corporation, a local non-profit, will provide counseling and other assistance to residents to ensure a smooth lease-to-home- ownership transition. In addition, Commonwealth Development is partnering with Ball State University and Dr. Shannon Powers to provide programs for residents to promote healthy living choices and the opportunity to become certified in exercise instruction, opening potential career options.
“We are particularly proud of our Fourteen91 Lofts project, and the significant impact that the project will have on the community,” said Kevin McDonell, Vice President of Development for Commonwealth. “By redeveloping the former GM facilities, we are cleaning up a brownfield and building on the momentum that was created by the Ross Community Center’s purchases of the adjacent RACER property for conversion into recreational facilities. (See related article below.) In total, the project will preserve the historic Muncie Trade School, put a foreclosed property back on the tax rolls, and continue the tremendous progress that RACER is spearheading at the former GM plant, while creating a total of 72 units of affordable housing, including 35 units on the former RACER site.”
Commonwealth, founded in 2001, specializes in new construction, adaptive reuse and historic renovations. Its core business is the development, construction and management of affordable housing. It owns and operates more than 50 projects across the country with a focus on providing affordable workforce housing. The Muncie development will be its fourth in Indiana.
“Muncie is a great place to live and work, and part of the reason is that we do not take private investment for granted,” Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler said. “Our team in the city works very hard to attract the kind of investment and economic development that will broadly benefit our residents and businesses, and I am pleased that Commonwealth Development has chosen to be a part of our community and our growth. I thank Kevin McDonell and his team, as well as RACER Trust, for their collaborative efforts to bring this important development for Southside Muncie to fruition.”
RACER Trust has completed two previous sales in Muncie — one to Ross Community Center, which is near the future Fourteen91 Lofts, and the other to M&M Bus Co., Inc., for school bus storage.
RACER Trust took ownership of its Muncie property, the site of the former General Motors Manual Transmissions of Muncie manufacturing operation, in 2011. GM ceased operations at the site in 2006 and completed demolition of buildings in 2009. RACER Trust is marketing the remaining acreage for sale, and is seeking a buyer who will invest in redevelopment and job creation. Nearly all of the remaining acreage is located on the north side of West 8th Street, west of South Elliott Street, and is served by an active rail spur.
About Commonwealth Development Corporation
The Commonwealth Companies develops, acquires, builds and manages multi-family properties in a variety of geographically, economically and socially diverse neighborhoods. Since 2001, Commonwealth Development Corporation has developed real estate holdings throughout the country, which has created hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity. Its portfolio of award-winning affordable and mixed-income developments demonstrates expertise in structuring a development that is built as a long-term investment and an asset to communities. Its development team has extensive background in site selection, market research and structuring of debt and equity financing. For more information, please visit http://www.commonwealthco.net/development.
About RACER Trust
RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust was created to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and other facilities owned by the former General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy. RACER is one of the largest holders of industrial property in the United States and is the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history. When the Trust was formed, it owned properties at 89 locations in 14 states, principally in the Midwest and Northeast. The Trust was created by a settlement agreement in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court between the U.S. Government, the 14 states where the former GM properties are located, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which owns land adjoining one of the properties in Upstate New York. For more information, please visit our website: www.racertrust.org.
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