MARION — A new development in Marion aims to address one of the city’s biggest housing gaps — affordable rental housing.
Developers hope to break ground this fall on a $9.6 million, 50-unit building that will provide housing for families earning less than the area’s median income.
The development, at 2274 Fifth Ave, is looking to open in the fall of 2020.
It will be built immediately south of Sixth Avenue in Marion, where the city is finishing the final piece of its Central Corridor Project infrastructure improvements, from the 15th Street roundabout east to the roundabout near 27th Street, Marion City Manager Lon Pluckhahn said.
“That’s really our long-term strategy to foster redevelopment up and down the whole central corridor,” Pluckhahn said, adding the efforts are a way to keep up with traffic as Marion grows.
A 2016 study showed the need for affordable rental housing in the city, which is a single-family-home saturated market.
“It was one of the biggest identified gaps that we had, the affordable end of the spectrum,” Pluckhahn said. “One of the key pieces is just sheer supply, not having enough.”
TWG Development Group is the project’s developer. TWG also built the Blairs Ferry Senior Apartments, an affordable housing project in Marion, and others in Cedar Rapids, including The Avenue, a 150-unit affordable development at 5200 16th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids.
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“(The need) is very, very strong,” said Sam Rogers, TWG’s development director for Iowa. “The vacancy rates right now for most of the affordable housing developments ... there’s almost zero vacancy.”
The new building, which has yet to be named, will have one-, two- and three-bedroom units — with price points at 30, 40 and 60 percent of the area median income — plus five market-rate rental units.
The median income for a Marion household is $69,882, according to the Census Bureau’s most recent estimate.
The Marion City Council is in the process of approving a 10-year property tax abatement, not to exceed $400,000, for the project. The developer also received a $788,011 housing tax credit from Iowa Finance Authority this year.
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