A. Lee Graham
Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives Inc. and the Fort Worth Housing Authority have agreed to purchase Hillside Apartments, the 172-unit, mixed-income property on the eastern edge of downtown.
When unveiled in 1997, the complex pioneered downtown residential development spearheaded by Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, with support from the Bass family, the city of Fort Worth and local foundations and corporations. Developing and managing the property has been McCormack Barron Salazar of St. Louis.
By using federal housing tax credits, 60 percent of the units are reserved for families earning less than 60 percent of the area median income.
Prompting the Housing Authority-DFWII partnership was interest among several community partners in divesting after the tax credit compliance period ended in 2012.
“Tax credit investors will typically exit a project once the benefits expire,” said Jim Johnson of DFWII in a news release.
“In this case, we were fortunate to find a new partner in the Housing Authority,” Johnson said.
Under the arrangement, the Housing Authority will finance the community partners’ asset purchase, combined with DFWII’s 12 acres to be owned by the new Housing Authority-DFWII partnership.
The new entity has agreed to maintain what a city news release called “the affordability mix” for the next 24 years and use all net revenues from the venture to encourage developing more mixed-income housing downtown. When the term expires, DFWII will have the opportunity to purchase the development for the amount of the outstanding debt.
“We see this as a legacy opportunity,” said Johnny Campbell of Sundance Square, DFWII’s 2014 chairman.
“We want to be sure that this project stays in local hands and that the use of this land and these assets are held in trust by a group of people who will have downtown Fort Worth’s best interests in mind. The Housing Authority and DFWII are excellent public-private partners for that mission,” Campbell said.