WHEDA Awards State Housing Tax Credits in River Falls

New development to create 50 units of senior affordable housing

River Falls – The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) recently announced a State Housing Tax Credits award for The Depot at 300 River Street, a multifamily development in River Falls. The tax credits, which are distributed by WHEDA, will create 50 units of affordable rental housing.

The Depot, located near City Hall, will be constructed on the site of the old train depot. Within blocks of The Depot, residents will be able to access the library, UW-River Falls, the senior center and other businesses within River Falls’ vibrant downtown corridor. Gerrard Corporation received $351,824 in state tax credits to develop the project.

"We are so pleased that the city of River Falls has trust in our track record to bring high-quality, affordable housing to the city," said Paul Gerrard, vice president of Gerrard Corporation. "Partnerships with the city and others are what make these developments successful. WHEDA's ongoing efforts to make projects like The Depot financially feasible due to the tax credits are critical. And, we are also fortunate to have a long-standing partnership with West CAP. They will provide onsite services for residents at The Depot."

Gerrard Corporation is working through the city's approval process, which includes several plan commission and council meetings, and more, as well as negotiating a development agreement with the city.
This is partially because some overhead power lines on the Depot site would need to be moved, and some sewer work would need to be done as well.

“We have been pleased to work with Paul and Peter Gerrard to create a plan for this site, which will provide much-needed affordable senior housing in our city,” said River Falls City Administrator Scot Simpson. “The tax credits from WHEDA will go a long way toward making this project a reality. We thank them for choosing to make this investment in River Falls and look forward to our continued partnership.”   

The Depot will be completed in two phases. Upon completion of Phase One, The Depot will offer some limited services to its residents. Amenities will include: parking; heat, hot water, sewer and water, and internet provided by the landlord; a washer and dryer, disposal, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, stove, mini blinds, walk-in pantries and walk-in closets in each apartment; radiant heat in the floors, controlled by each individual apartment's resident(s), and more.

The Depot would also include some community spaces, including a fully furnished community room on the first floor, as well as sundeck-type areas, and library/puzzle room space as well. Provided all city approvals go through, work will likely begin next spring. 

The development would be marketed starting in December 2019, and would open up about April 2020.

Rent will range from $450 to $1,095 per month. The same legislation that created the tax credits will also allow The Depot to rent to some people whose income is as much as 80 percent of the median income. This is because the regulations are now based on the average of the incomes of all the residents in one building, as opposed to being based on the residents of one apartment in a building.

Phase Two will add approximately 30 units. The rent for these apartments will be at market rates and targeted towards professionals and empty-nesters.  

“The new state tax credit program is tremendous news for River Falls and the rest of the Wisconsin,” said WHEDA COO Brian Schimming. “The tax incentive for private investment in the development and preservation of affordable housing is critical for our economy as it spurs construction jobs and reduces rental cost burdens for Wisconsin residents.”     

WHEDA received 15 applications this year representing $10.4 million in requests. With a total available pool of approximately $7 million, this demonstrates the continued need for affordable housing in Wisconsin. State tax credits are awarded over a six-year-period and this year’s allocation will generate nearly $40 million in credits over their lifespan. In exchange for receiving the state tax credits, developers agree to reserve a portion of their housing units for low- and moderate-income households for at least 30 years. Remaining units are rented at market rates to seniors and families without income limits. 

The state tax credits will help finance affordable housing units in the following communities: Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Fitchburg, Green Bay, Pleasant Prairie, River Falls, Sheboygan and Superior. 

WHEDA also administers federal housing tax credits. The new state tax credit program will be matched with $6.6 million in federal 4% tax credits increasing the leverage and enabling more affordable housing across the state. Overall, the new state program will generate $191 million in total development.

Tax credit developments must meet high design and operating standards. Criteria include strong management, excellent development quality, demonstrated market need, provision of services and amenities, proper local zoning and permits and service to households at various income levels.
Go to www.wheda.com for a complete listing of 2018 State Housing Tax Credit awards. 


For more information regarding The Depot, please contact Paul Gerrard at (608)782-4375.

Posted in: 55+
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La Crosse, WI 54601


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