Seven months after the worst tornado on record tore through the city, Joplin, Mo., is rebuilding with the help of a Dayton-area developer.
Scores of Joplin residents still live in Federal Emergency Management Administration Housing, forced from their homes after the massive tornado destroyed the town, causing damage to roughly 8,500 homes and businesses and killing about 160 people.
As of the end of December, 50 percent of property owners had secured permits to repair or rebuild homes that were damaged or destroyed by the tornado, according to the city of Joplin.
But housing remains a problem for a number of lower-income residents, many of whom lived in rental housing.
Moraine-based Miller-Valentine Group’s residential division in December was granted state and federal tax credits to build an 84-unit affordable multi-family housing complex near the epicenter of the tornado zone.
The $12.6 million development, dubbed Hampshire Terrace II, will be on the site where a 100-unit housing complex, Hampshire Terrace, stood. The owner of the former housing complex, a local church, opted not to rebuild the eight-acre site.
“There is just literally deterioration everywhere. There is just nothing left. There’s nothing standing there,” said Dave Liette, president of MV Residential. “It’s just amazing how much the tornado just wiped that whole area out.”
MV Residential’s Hampshire Terrace II was one of eight projects to receive tax credits for the greater Joplin area. In total, 355 housing units — houses, apartments, duplexes and townhomes — will be constructed. MV Residential will receive $1.6 million in federal and state tax credits. The project will feature 42 two-bedroom units with $545 gross rent and 42 three-bedroom units with $628 gross rent, according to an application filed with the Missouri Housing Development Coalition, which operates the state’s Rental Production and Preservation Program.
The complex will include a clubhouse, exercise room, playground, computer lab, a trolley stop and safe rooms in each building. The project is set to begin construction June 2012 and be completed by May 2013. “We’re really on the fast track to get this started as quickly as possible,” Liette said. The challenge will be in finding Joplin-area contractors that aren’t already swamped with other rebuilding projects. MV Residential also will have the capability to add another 48 units to the complex in a future phase, but likely won’t pursue such an expansion until the first phase is leased, Liette said.
The company will partner with Denver, Colo.-based Mercy Housing, a national nonprofit that owns and operates a nearby senior housing property, which was damaged by the tornado, to run the property and with Economic Security Corp. to provide supportive services to residents.
Liette said the company has never built in an area impacted by a natural disaster before, but was attracted to the Missouri area, given its 2010 expansion into neighboring Iowa. Hampshire Terrace II marks the company’s first project in Missouri and Liette said the company will look for other opportunities in the state. MV Residential also has another 14 applications pending in seven states — Ohio (four), Indiana (three), Pennsylvania (two), Illinois (two), Kentucky (one), Missouri (one) and Oklahoma (one). Liette would like to see the company receive approval for at least five of those projects. Locally, MV Residential recently developed The Falls at Settler’s Walk in Springboro and is partnering with St. Mary Development Corp. and the city of Dayton on Roosevelt Projects already in the works include:
Carriage Trails Senior Villas in Huber Heights — a 34-unit development began construction in September;
Sylvania Senior Residences in Toledo — 12 senior cottages and a 39-unit, three-story senior building began construction in July;
Lawrence Village in Lawrence, IN — a 45-unit, three-story senior building set for completion in January;
Hamburg Place in Lexington, KY — a 62-unit, three-story senior building began construction in July;
Gallatin Park Apartments in Gallatin, TN — a 48 garden-style multi-family housing project that began construction in August;
The Enclave in Winston Salem, NC — a 68-unit multi-family housing project began construction in September; and
Meadow Vista in Des Moines, Iowa — a 59-unit single-family housing and 50 senior villas projects that both began construction in September.
Ginger Christ, Dayton Business Journal