Proposed affordable housing project could complete Maplewood extension

WICHITA FALLS - A new affordable housing complex could be on its way to Wichita Falls, possibly paving the way to completing a street project along one of the city's busiest shopping corridors.

This comes after city councilors decided to support a proposal for tax credits under the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs on Tuesday.

The Reserves at Maplewood II would add 36 units, right next to where the original Reserves at Maplewood apartment complex is established. If the funds are approved by the state, it could also help complete Maplewood Avenue to McNiel Avenue extension. 

After deliberation by city councilors, real estate developer Overland Property Group will submit an application for tax credits for consideration from TDHCA.

"The unique situation with Maplewood is that the developer said that they would develop the Maplewood extension," district 4 councilor Jesse Brown said.

At the city council meeting, councilors showed support for the $8 million project. Brown says if the local project wins the credits, it's a win win for the city.

"Wichita Falls fell into a very unique situation where we can have the developer pay for the road and save the taxpayers over a million dollars." Brown says the state allows the local municipality to leverage support in the competitive application process, giving Wichita Falls an advantage over other competing similar sized cities such as Abilene.
    
"It was very important that they understood that there was that ten point differential," director of community development Dana Schoening said. "It really makes it likely that the project that was selected today would get funded." He says the project will benefit beyond saving tax payer dollars.

"So really from an economic development standpoint, you're providing that private investment. Bringing it to this community," Schoening said.

"I think it's going to be great when we extend it to McNiel and traffic flow has a place to go." Developer Andy Lee says he's hopeful the completion of the Maplewood extension will also ultimately mean more business development along that corridor.
     
"We've got a couple of tenants right now that we're in final negotiations on here at Quail Creek," Lee said.

If the tax credit funds are approved to OPG, the city would not have to pay for the Maplewood extension out of the the general revenue funds.

The deadline for applicants to submit their proposals is Jan. 25, then TDHCA will make their final decision by the end of July.


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