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FOX PARK EAST

A CONFLUENCE OF OPPORTUNITY
Messiah Lutheran Church, as the principal sponsor of a significant and catalytic historic
rehabilitation development, is pleased to submit the accompanying application for state and federal
low-income tax credits. Messiah Lutheran, in conjunction with several affiliated not-for-profits and
Rise Community evelopment proposes to complete substantial historic renovation of twelve multi-
family buildings in the !ower "rove #ast and $ox %ar& neighborhoods. !he two and four family
buildings, all contained within an identified historic district, are largely vacant and abandoned.
"enerally bounded by 'rsenal (treet to the south, Compton 'venue to the west, )efferson 'venue to
the east and Russell 'venue to the north the forty-five one, two and three bedroom apartments are
contained within an otherwise stable and growing neighborhood. *n an effort to expand on this growth,
the sponsors propose to provide safe, convenient and welcoming homes for families in the process of
establishing a new life in the community.
*n a classic +middle neighborhood,, $ox %ar& and !ower "rove #ast provide the perfect blend
of resources and revival to suggest the proposed development will be a success. -hat would seem to
assure success is the genesis of this proposal. Messiah Lutheran has enjoyed the recent emergence of a
refugee population in their congregation. #thnically .epalese, a significant population of /hutanese
refugees has made the greater neighborhood around Messiah Lutheran0s (outh "rand Church home.
1aving +adopted, this population, the congregants of Messiah Lutheran have become acutely aware of
the needs of their new friends and neighbors. 2ften characteri3ed by single households made up of
extended families, these families are often under-housed, rent burdened and living in substandard
housing. (till assimilating, the population has fre4uently been victims of street crime in the
neighborhoods where they initially settle. 2n many occasions these families, most of whom have no
automobiles or a single car for an extended family, have expressed a desire to live in a more stable
neighborhood and closer to the church and the resources it provides.
!he circumstances seem to be preordained. !he recent relocation of the *nternational *nstitute to
5678 'rsenal (treet 9in the heart of the proposed scattered site development: brings significant
resources into immediate proximity to the proposed development. !he refugees and their families will
have the regular support needed in order to develop the s&ills and cultural understanding needed to
thrive in a new home. *n addition to affordable housing, limited commercial space in one of the
centrally located buildings will be made available to local non-profits and financial industry volunteers
to provide the targeted population with a variety of services including financial literacy, jobs
counseling, credit building, and other important services. *n &eeping with M1C0s stated goals, the
proposed housing is a short wal& from major public transportation stops, shopping, cultural resources,
employment opportunities and entertainment.
Housing Comes First
Li&e many places in the city of (t. Louis, there is a strong demand for affordable housing in the
$ox %ar&;!ower "rove #ast neighborhood. -hile neighborhood growth has been a welcome
development, the trend in real estate has recently had a coincidental effect of limiting housing choices
for lower income families. %eople who have traditionally added a diversity and vibrance to the
community often find themselves on the outside loo&ing in.
!he proposed development involves the complete renovation of forty-five units housed in
twelve historic buildings located in the !ower "rove #ast, $ox %ar&, and e(ales historic districts. !he
properties included in this proposal are currently in poor condition, essentially vacant, and a hindrance
to neighborhood stabili3ation and security. (everal of the properties, if neglected much longer, will
li&ely need to be demolished creating a void in a neighborhood wor&ing toward growth. R*(# and
Messiah Lutheran Church have developed this proposed project to ta&e these buildings that are
currently a detriment to the surrounding neighborhood and turn them into a neighborhood asset.
'lthough some of the buildings are in far worse conditions than others, all will re4uire
extensive rehab. 'll of the buildings will re4uire new mechanical systems, roofs, windows, some
structural wor& and exterior restoration. !he forty five units contemplated in the project, by and large
represent the current bedroom configuration. 'll interior finish will be new. 'ppliances and interior
systems will be new, efficient and sensitive to the original architectural aesthetic. 'll of the units will
have some off-street par&ing. !he sites will be landscaped and restored to their original grandeur.
!he current bedroom configuration calls for a mix of one, two and three bedroom units in two
and four family buildings scattered among several nearby streets. (ubject to change based on further
examination the planned distribution and rent structure is as follows<
6 - one-bedroom;8 bath =>>7 per month ?77 s4. ft. @ A>7 s4. ft.
58 two-bedroom;8 bath =B87 per month A87 s4. ft. @ 8877 s4. ft.
87 three-bedroom ;C bath =?77 per month AA7 s4. ft. @ 88C7 s4. ft.
/ased on proposed floor plates and existing window configuration will be open, spacious and
bright. 'll appropriate appliances will be #nergy (tar. Ditchens will be new with modern amenities.
1ardwood, resilient flooring or acceptable substitutes will be installed wherever possible. 'lmost all
plumbing systems and fixtures will be replaced. #lectrical services will be new and wiring, wherever
compromised or not in compliance with code for substantial rehab will be replaced. .ot fewer than
three units will be '';>76 compliant consistent with re4uirements for substantial rehabilitation.
#xteriors will be restored to their original appearance using authentic materials whenever possible and
practical. 's the proposed development will utili3e state and federal historic credits all applicable wor&
will meet historic standards. !o the greatest extent possible design and architecture will adhere to the
principals of Eniversal esign and .'1/ sustainable design guidelines for substantial rehabilitation
with particular attention on insulation, doors and windows. Current plans call for unit to have washer
and dryer hoo&-up in the unit.
#xterior restoration of mansards, parapets, roofs, gutters, downspouts, scuppers, window buc&s
and sills, doorways, stoops and walls will be done in a manner true to the original design. -hen
necessary replacement of bric& and other masonry will be matched as near as possible to original
finish. (pecial attention will be given to window treatments and other exterior specialties to ensure
durability and an attractive appearance. -al&s, drives and porches will be replaced if they are damaged
beyond repair or substandard. -henever possible, accessible routes will be provide to appropriate
units, patios and par&ing pads.
-hat might be regarded as the anchor building in the proposed development, C?78 Magnolia
sits prominently at the corner of California and Magnolia. !he building has been a target for
redevelopment in the community for a long time. 2wned for years by (t. Louis City LR', this large
building will produce A new units of affordable housing in addition to some other mixed uses. !he
classic *talianate building features a prominent cast iron storefront, ornate cornice wor&, bric&
construction and room for off-street par&ing.
A Project Born o !ission
Messiah Lutheran Church has been a presence on (outh "rand for over a 877 years. -ith a
broad mission to minister to the whole community, Messiah Lutheran has wor&ed closely with charter
school (outh City %rep to bring high 4uality education to the !ower "rove neighborhood. Messiah
Lutheran has developed and provided an after school program called !he 'r& to the students focusing
on character, tutoring, life s&ills and team sports. !he endeavor has been so successful that the school
is currently planning a move to a larger facility in the neighborhood within the next two years.
Messiah Lutheran is already considering new ways to engage and help the community with their
facility once (outh City %rep moves and expands. (imilarly Messiah Lutheran made their church
available for over two years to a small start-up music school called the Music Room. !he savings
allowed the music school to eventually purchase and renovate a vacant mixed use building in !ower
"rove #ast where they now operate. Messiah Lutheran cares for underprivileged in their community
by partnering with *saiah >? ministries by collecting food donations for the neighborhood food pantry.
Caring Ministries was founded in C788 to help immigrants and refugees toward the goal of
home ownership. !hey accomplish this through financial literacy, credit building and assistance in
home buying process. Messiah Lutheran and Caring Ministries propose to repurpose earned fee to
further their collective mission, ma&e capital improvements to facilities used to provide services and do
additional outreach to populations similar to /hutanese families targeted in this proposal.
Lutheran Church #xtension $und has provided a predevelopment loan in the amount of
=677,777 at favorable terms for the purpose of seeding the project. #stablished in 8AB?, LC#$0s
mission is to provide loans to Lutheran Churches, schools, or affiliated groups to use for the purpose of
ministering to the needs of their community.
Messiah Lutheran and Caring Ministries approached Rise in the fall of C785 about developing
housing for an emerging refugee population in the community and a growing presence in the churches
congregation. More than neighbors, the church decided to ta&e a certain stewardship for this group of
families as they assimilated to their new country. *t was clear that many families where in homes that
were overcrowded, far from resources they were coming to rely on and often fearful leaving their
homes. Most of these families commute by wal&ing or ta&ing public transportation. 2ften if there is a
single car shared among an extended family. !he staff at Rise began wor&ing with leaders in the church
to establish a plan for ac4uiring the appropriate real estate, rehabilitating that property and constructing
a viable financial model to ma&e the plan a reality. Long a leader in the development of affordable
housing and community planning and development, Rise was immediately excited about the emerging
nexus of historic rehab, targeting a uni4ue special needs population, the creation of additional
affordable housing and the opportunity to wor& in such a vibrant and growing neighborhood.
*n addition to Rise and the church affiliates, a development team that included Erban -er&s,
#M 1arris Construction and Rubin /rown wor&ed together to target buildings, develop rehab scope
and evaluate available resources. %erhaps not accidentally, the assembled team too& a particular interest
in this project as many of the principals live in or near the site. !he result is a genuine, thorough and
cohesive plan.
Structure "n# Fin"ncing
Rise, acting as a consultant to an affiliate of Messiah Lutheran church, is well aware of the
limited nature of the resources that are available for such underta&ings. Enderstatedly, sources are scare
and competition is great. -ith that in mind, we are proposing a 6F tax exempt bond application
leverage by both state and federal low-income and historic tax credits. !he development team is
committed to wor&ing with M1C and other state agencies to help ameliorate the high costs of
development, to optimi3e all other financing sources, and to reduce the reliance on state tax credit
resources that affect the efficiency of the program.
-e have tried to reduce cost to the greatest extent possible. -e have attempted to limit
ac4uisition cost by specifically targeting (t. Louis City LR' properties. !he strategy has the dual
benefit of reducing average purchase price and removing troubled properties from the neighborhoodG
and the City0s roll. -hile entitled to a greater amount, we have deliberately reduced proposed fee,
as&ed members of the development team to carefully evaluate cost and profit, wor&ed toward project
efficiencies and eliminated buildings where rehab cost would be too high.
!his application, while full of substantial challenges, presents two particularly uni4ue obstacles.
!he first is that only about half the buildings are in 4ualified census tracts. !his limits the amount of
low-income tax credit available for overall project. *t also creates a rather involved evaluation of
projected credit and e4uity. -hile difficult, the development team has addressed this problem with the
help of M1C staff, the contractor and other real estate professionals. !he second problem, while not
uni4ue to other applications in the City of (t. Louis this year, is a significant obstacle. !he City0s
availability of subordinate sources and gap funding is now a cycle that is disconnected from that of the
Missouri 1ousing evelopment Commission. -e reali3e this ma&es the M1C0s evaluation, and
ultimately re4uired financial commitment, tougher but we have ta&en steps to at the very least establish
proposed contingency funding. Messiah Lutheran has a contingent pledge in place to cover a portion of
the gap through a subordinate loan. More li&ely, it is our belief that if funded by M1C our companion
application9s: to (t. Louis Community evelopment 'dministration and;or 'ffordable 1ousing
Commission would be received most favorably, thereby further leveraging M1C0s resources and
expanding the share of sta&eholders in this important endeavor.

-hile subject to change, the proposed financing is as follows<
!# /ond %roceeds Construction 2nly =6,C>7,777
$ederal L*1!C credit =5>H,??6 'nnual Credit =C,6B7,HAC #4uity
(tate L*1!C credit =5>H,??6 'nnual Credit =8,CA8,??H #4uity
$ederal 1istoric Credit =8,?7B,8A7 =8,HH7,A>C #4uity
(tate 1istoric Credit =C,C>?, A?? =8,A67,B?B #4uity
M1C;LC#$ %ermanent Loan 95.?>F: =8,H77,777
Messiah Lutheran;eveloper Contingency Loan =577,777
M1C;'1C;C' (ubordinate Loan 98F: =B77,777
!otal evelopment Cost 9.et of /ridge Loans: =?,75B,CB5
-e have negotiated with several federal and state credit investors and believe our projections
are both achievable and the top of the mar&et for this development. -e are projecting 7.?? for the
federal affordable credit, 7.66 for the state affordable credit, 7.AC for the federal historic credit and 7.?H
for the state historic credit under a master lease structure. -e anticipate a below mar&et interest rate on
the permanent debt through an LC#$ mission loan or an M1C participation loan. -hile the project
would generate far greater e4uity as a AF application it wor&s as a 6F deal and gives us, we believe, a
greater chance at funding in the near term. -e are well aware that at just over =CC7,777 per unit in total
development cost the proposal is approaching the upper limit of acceptable cost but we believe that the
projected cost is justified by the scope of wor&, historic re4uirements and a commitment to excellence.
Conc$usion
-e respectfully submit the application that accompanies this narrative and re4uest the following
funding from the CommissionI $ederal and (tate L*1!C in the annual amount of =C?7,ACA, permanent
participation loan funds in an amount not to exceed =8,H77,777 and subordinate construction-to-
permanent debt in an amount not to exceed =B77,777. -e again stress that, if funded it is our strongest
desire to offset M1C0s subordinate commitment with local funds. -e strongly believe that if this
application is favorably received by M1C staff and approved by the Commission that the prospects
for funding from the City of (t. Louis are very good. -e welcome any variation, including an award of
AF credit, substitution of sources, alternate terms or any deviation from our assumptions that
Commission staff might suggest in support of an acceptable application.
2ur proposal represents considerable forethought and many hours of predevelopment wor&. -e
believe our application builds on some very tangible and very exciting wor& already underway in the
neighborhood. !he addition of 6> new affordable homes is a worthy enough objective in and of itself.
Coupled with the targeted mar&eting to the most vulnerable of citi3ens, added services and the
reclamation of some ama3ing building and the broader objective spea&s for itself. -e hope you agree
and than& you very much for your consideration.