CLINTON — Woda Cooper Companies of Columbus, Ohio, wants to build a senior housing development off LaMetta Wynn Drive, Barry Accountis, a company vice president, told the Clinton City Council on Tuesday.
The City Council voted to issue a resolution of support for a 50-unit, three-story building called Alder Pointe Development for people aged 55 and older.
Woda has developments in 15 states, and this is its fifth year in Iowa, said Accountis. “We came here in 2017. We have ... a very good relationship with the folks at [Iowa Finance Authority],” Accountis said.
“Our first property was ... up in Cedar Rapids. It is just finished. We built 44 units of family,” Accountis said. Called Anderson Greene, the development was full and had 47 people on a waiting list at the time of its grand opening, Accountis said.
Anderson Greene II received funding the very next round. “That project will be done toward the end of this year,” Accountis said. Woda will be breaking ground for developments in Johnston, Indianola and Wilton this summer, he said.
The site plan calls for 80 parking spaces and a three-story elevator building. Woda will construct a stub to connect LaMetta Wynn Drive to the site.
“We’re hopeful ... the City may put a road in here some day,” said Accountis. “It could be in two years, five years, whatever you folks decide.”
“Actually, probably next spring,” said City Administrator Matt Brooke.
“Next spring sounds even better,” said Accountis. “But we put the stub in, and we planned for it, because with Iowa Finance you must be on a paved, public road,” he said.
“So we put it in our budget. Just in case your plans would change, we’re covered,” Accountis said.
“The site plan could change. This is purely conceptual,” said Accountis. The company has to address issues such as storm water and fire codes before building.
The development would use only half of the land Woda would buy for the project. “Someday, if we’re lucky enough, ... a phase two would always be fantastic,” said Accountis.
Woda plans 18 one-bedroom units of 685 square feet and 32 two-bedroom units with 891 square feet of space.
The one-bedroom units will start at $310 per month. “That is what the residents pay in their rent,” Accountis said. Rent for one-bedroom units would max out at $700.
The two-bedroom units will start at $360 a month and the maximum rent would be $850 per month for market rate units.
Rents would be based on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines.
Renters would pay their own utilities, said Accountis. Woda typically pays water, sewer and trash.
Adler Pointe may use housing credit, “[but] our properties look market rate,” Accountis said.
Units will have dishwashers and microwaves. “We put these in because IFA likes them, and if they like them, they like your application,” said Accountis.
“And the application is a very competitive process. They might receive 30 applications. They’ll fund 12. We feel very strongly that this would get funded,” said Accountis.
“That’s why we’re here. Fantastic market. IFA likes it. Great community. We’d love to hang a shingle here.”
The $9.4 million will be financed through the sale of housing credits to investors, said Accountis. “The only catch is you have to cap those rents at no greater than that median income for that apartment,” he said.
Woda will put some of its own money into the project and will probably ask IFA for some soft funds, he said.
Woda does management, planning and construction of its developments. The company was founded in 1989 and has about 150 employees,” Accountis said.
“When we got down toward the rural reaches down in Muscatine County, Iowa started to open up for us,” said Accountis. “What brought us here was, number one, ... [we] heard nothing but great things.”
Woda’s consultants and market analysts in the area told Woda “you can’t go wrong in Clinton.”
Clinton’s demographics score very high with IFA right now. For a rural county, it’s probably one of the highest in the state, Accountis said. “Disaster recovery and rural set aside, that’s where you want to be right now.”
Councilman Cody Seeley noted that the proposed building site is very visible. “Visually, people are going to see this building all the time, so I’d love for you to really make something pop on it that really brings home how special Clinton is,” Seeley said.
“Clinton has tremendous opportunity that hasn’t been fully tapped yet,” Seeley said. “There’s a need for this. But you’re in that special location. ... You guys really got to do a good job on this.”
“We like special locations,” said Accountis. “We like showing off what we do.”
If Woda gets funding from IFA, the project will have to be completed by 2023, said Accountis. The company won’t know until the first week of September if it will receive an award from IFA.