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Affordable housing, business renovation/relocation on City Council's agenda


By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Efforts to bring affordable housing to Greenville — and to aid a local business that wants to renovate a Dickinson Avenue building — are two of the items on the agenda of tonight’s Greenville City Council meeting.

The council also will take a second vote at its 6 p.m. meeting on a rezoning request that did not get the required two-thirds majority.

Staff is seeking authorization to apply for a Rural Housing Recovery Infrastructure Grant being offered by the state commerce department.

The money, being made available through a partnership with the commerce department and the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, will provide money to fund infrastructure work “to support housing developments in communities impacted by recent hurricanes,” according to information in the council’s agenda.

The city wants $350,000 to build an offsite storm drainage system, rain collection systems, add sidewalks, curbs and gutters, add more parking, install buffer vegetation and improve the soil for building pad construction.

The recommendation is the single item under the council’s consent agenda, which is typically a list of noncontroversial actions the council approves without discussion.

Woda Cooper Development, an Ohio-based company, wants to build a three-building, 60-unit multifamily development on Old Firetower Road. The company was awarded N.C. Housing Finance Agency Tax Credits in 2017 to build affordable housing for families and individuals whose income is below the local median income.

The grant requires no matching dollars from the city.

Business incentives

The council will consider providing Taft Family Ventures up to $80,000 in incentives to help the company relocate to a Dickinson Avenue building it wants to rehabilitate.

Taft Family Ventures is seeking a $200,000 Building Reuse Grant from the state Department of Commerce to renovate a building at 631 Dickinson Ave. so it can relocate its headquarters from its current location on Stantonsburg Road. The grant requires the city to commit a cash match of 5 percent or up to $10,000.

The company also is applying for the city’s Job Creation Grant.

According to the council’s agenda notes, relocating to Dickinson Avenue will allow Taft Family Ventures to hire an additional 16 employees, bringing its total workforce to 38 full-time jobs.

The note said the project will require roughtly $3.2 million in acquisisition and renovation costs.

The city bases its grant on how much additional property tax is generated by the investment. The city returns 75 percent of the increased taxes over a seven-year period for projects deemed “transformative.” Staff estimates Taft Family Ventures will receive up to up to $9,937 annually for an estimated total of $69,560 when the seven-year period ends.

East Fire Tower Road rezoning

City Council is taking a second vote on a request to rezone 12.9 acres located on the northern right-of-way of East Fire Tower Road from residential-agricultural to office residential (high density multi-family).

Mayor P.J. Connelly cast the deciding vote favoring the request at Council’s Feb. 14 meeting. However, the Council’s rules require a second vote of approval if less than two-thirds of the Council vote for the change.

Public hearings

Two public hearings are scheduled for tonight’s meeting.

One hearing involves a request to annex 5.3 acres of Davenport Farms at Emerald Park. The property is located at the end of Jade Lane.

The property currently is undeveloped but it is anticipated to yield 20 single-family lots, according to a summary of the request.

The owners of Happy Trail Farms are asking that 17 acres located near the northeastern corner of the intersection of East 10th Street and Port Terminal Road be rezoned from residential-agricultural to residential (medium density).

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.