The redevelopment of the old Love Apartments, as well as a new mixed-use development on Ninth Avenue East in east Bradenton, has been a long-term goal of the Central Community Redevelopment Agency.
The 1950s era 38-unit Love Apartments was purchased by the CCRA in 2006 and operated as low-income housing. The Love Apartments at Sixth Street Court East have seen better days and is becoming more costly to maintain. In March, the CCRA entered into a memorandum of understanding with North Star Development to redevelop the property into Lincoln Village and to build the Bryant Commons mixed-used project on vacant land at Ninth Avenue East and Third Street East.
As the city inches closer to a development agreement, officials agreed Wednesday to split some predevelopment costs with North Star. The city will pay $28,000 of the $56,000 in predevelopment costs, which includes environmental testing. City Administrator Carl Callahan said some of the work must be done anyway regardless of who develops the property.
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“A lot of these costs will still be applicable to the CCRA whether (North Star) moves forward or not,” said Callahan. “Some of these things have to be done regardless, so half of what we spend will be a good investment and the other half will go to North Star.”
Normally, all of the rights of environmental testing stays with the developer, but in this case, those rights will belong to us.
Ward 4 Councilman Bemis Smith
Ward 4 Councilman Bemis Smith said he’s not a fan of giving away anything for nothing, but was satisfied with the language.
“Normally, all of the rights of environmental testing stays with the developer, but in this case, those rights will belong to us,” he said.
City officials also agreed to pay North Star $40,000 to help the developer’s tax credit application succeed. The payment is dependent on the tax credit application’s success. While the pledge will strengthen the application, the tax credit process ultimately relies on a lottery system.
Callahan acknowledged “it won’t help with the lottery portion of the application, but we won’t have to pay it if they aren’t successful.”
The Lincoln Village and Bryant Commons projects will compete against other local projects relying on tax credits, including edevelopment of the old Manatee Inns site in the 1400 block of 14th Street West. Beneficial Communities drew a bad lottery number last year despite submitting a strong proposal for the mixed-use Village Lofts project. Beneficial was granted an extension in April to try again for this year’s tax credit cycle in October.