Developers are seeking federal tax credits to build an affordable senior housing facility at the former St. Charles Mall site, which is expected to undergo a long-term redevelopment starting this spring.
To assist with the application process, St. Charles aldermen gave a preliminary nod Monday to an agreement allowing the Housing Authority of Elgin to provide rental assistance for up to 20 of the building's estimated 75 units.
Anthony Place, which would be restricted to residents ages 55 and older, is one component of a major commercial and residential development slated for the long-vacant 26-acre property. The senior living facility would fulfill a 61-unit affordable housing requirement outlined in the city's approval of the Prairie Centre project last year, said Rita Tungare, community and economic development director.
"There is a need for affordable housing," she said, noting city code requires 10 percent of the units in any new residential development to be affordable. "The city has taken measures for (addressing that)."
GC Housing Development LLC, which is under contract with Prairie Centre developer Shodeen Group, is in the midst of applying for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to build Anthony Place, project leaders said in a letter to the city. The project has cleared the first round of the process, Tungare said, and the application for the next round is due in March.
Developers applied for the same incentive program last year but were rejected because of a competing project in Batavia.
The proposed intergovernmental agreement between St. Charles and the Housing Authority of Elgin, which was pushed forward by the city's government services committee Monday, aims to increase the project's score determined by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Tungare said. The deal, if approved at the city council level, would allow residents ages 62 or older to pay 30 percent of their income toward rent and utilities, with the housing authority covering their remaining rent balance.
Rental assistance, which is limited to 25 percent of the units, offers a more affordable rent option for seniors living on a fixed income, developers said.
"I think Anthony Place will be a wonderful addition to the St. Charles housing stock," Alderman Rita Payleitner said.
If the project is awarded the tax credits, construction on the facility could begin as early as next year, Tungare said. If tax credits are denied again, she said, developers would have to reapply.
In addition to the senior housing, Prairie Centre plans include 609 apartments, as well as a market-driven retail and restaurant component. Developers are expected to break ground on the first two apartment buildings this spring.