Aledo looks into affordable rental housing

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Standing from left are Cullen Davis and Chrissy Swanson, from the Daveri Development Group, Chicago. They visited with Aledo City Administrator Janice Green and Mayor Richard Hunter on Tuesday, Aug. 3.

Cullen Davis, principal of Daveri Development Group and Chrissy Swanson, project manager, met with officials in Aledo, Viola and New Windsor to explain their plans for creating affordable rental housing in Mercer County.

Chrissy Swanson said the group is looking to build around 40, two, three and four-bedroom homes with garages, porches, all Energy Star rated appliances in the three locations. “We’re seeking to have a Bronze level certification from the Green Building Standards, the National Association of Home Buildiers,” said Swanson.

The homes will be financed with low income housing tax credits. The developer will have around $5 million in equity, once the production is completed, according to Davis. The tax incentives will be for the deveoperss to use for financing the projects. “They will be a subsidy to the project,” Davis said.

“These are rental, single family homes,” he said.

“This is the very preliminary step,” said Swanson.

If plans move forward there will be 20 new low income rental houses in Aledo, 10 in Viola and 10 in New Windsor. “It depends on the sites,” said Davis.

In Aledo they are looking at a site behind Heritage Woods. Davis said he has been talking to Blair Minton about purchasing some of the land they have south of the supportive living facility. “He would like to sell it to us,” said Davis.

Blair Minton is still on track to build some duplexes next to the two condominiums that are already built behind Heritage Woods.

Both developers are targeting different audiences. Blair Minton’s project is aimed at 55 and older individuals. The Daveri group is targeting working families.

The Daveri group already has put a 40-home subdivision up in Monmouth.

Some of the hurdles the development groups need to cross involve finding land for the subdivisions, possible rezoning if the land is not zoned for single-family homes and most importantly, having the support from the local communities.

The grand total cost for the Mercer County Daveri Development projects is estimated to be around $8.9 million “In order to submit an application for Illinois Housing Development Authority funds, we need local support,” said Swanson.

Once funding is obtained, a general contractor will be hired. “Our construction period would be about a year,” said Davis. He said he would assume the general contractor would bring in local subcontractors for much of the work.

Once the project is completed, they will hire local individuals to manage the property. “We’ve talked a lot to entities that need it (additional low cost housing), but don’t want it,” said Davis.

Some of the more immediate steps the developer will have are doing a professional market study and a phase one environmental study. Preliminary work on these types of projects can range in the $50,000 to $60,000 price range, Davis said.