Audubon Crossing Construction Underway

PDF icon Audubon Crossing Elevation Drawing301.24 KB

Several tired houses at the corner of Lowry Avenue and Polk Street have been torn down. Replacing those houses will be a 30-unit mixed-income apartment building named Audubon Crossing.

ANA's Land Use Committee has been working on the investment in our neighborhood for several years. We were first approached by the developer, MetroPlains, with a concept for a four-story mixed-use building, with apartments above street-level commercial space. Majdi Wadi of Holy Land already owned the old houses, and it was his vision for redevelopment that got the project started.

Securing financing for the project took over two years. In that span, economic and banking conditions soured, and the stakeholders decided to eliminate the retail component. This reduced the height of the building from four stories to three.

Ultimately, the project was awarded just over $5 million from the City, and $1.4 million from the County, the State and other sources. Total development costs will be about $7.8 million, with Metro-Plains privately financing the balance.

Members of your Land Use Committee worked with MetroPlains as the plans advanced. We toured several of their completed projects and offered our input. They listened. The final drawings align with our neighborhood’s Master Plan, from the scale of the building through the exterior finishes, and even to the landscaping and selection of plants for the site. When completed in late summer of 2010, Audubon Crossing will offer a mix of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments.

As a condition of the development subsidies, the apartments will have rents determined by a formula based on Metro Median Income. There is no monthly subsidy; tenants must pay the rents themselves.

Expected rents range from $454 for some one-bedroom units to $1101 for the biggest three-bedroom apartments. These rents are higher than the average for the area, but still affordable for working families.

Four of the apartments in Audubon Crossing are earmarked for families ready to transition out of long-term homelessness. Your Land Use Committee asked some hard questions about this arrangement. This is not a shelter, but instead a supportive step for people who are ready to become self-sufficient.

These families will receive assistance and intense supervision to help them be successful. The building will have underground parking for 38 vehicles. That’s more than one space per unit, and given the building’s location on the Central Avenue transit corridor, we expect few conflicts over on-street parking. Audubon Crossing will have a fitness room, a community room, and offices for building management. The main entrance will be on Lowry Avenue, closer to the alley than Polk Street.

MetroPlains has a record of long-term ownership. They have been cooperative and responsive to community concerns as the plans for Audubon Crossing evolved. Your Land Use Committee expects this positive partnership to carry forward for many years.

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