KCDC breaks ground on final phase of Five Points revitalization

Celebration marks construction launch for 82-unit affordable housing community

On May 22, Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC), along with business and community leaders and members of the Five Points community officially broke ground on Five Points 4, an affordable housing complex to be built at the intersection of Kenner Avenue and McConnell Street. Completion of Phase 4 will mark realization of the Five Points Master Plan.

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) celebrated the groundbreaking for Five Points 4, a 31-building, 82-unit affordable housing complex in East Knoxville, on May 22. Participating in the program, from left: Bob Whetsel and Sylvia Cook, KCDC Board of Commissioners; KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley; Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero; Marshall Stair, George Wallace, Gwen McKenzie and Finnbar Saunders, Knoxville City Council; Bob Cook, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Jeremy Heidt, Tennessee Housing Development Agency; Lauren Henry, Red Stone Equity Partners; Mike Dooley and Ellen DeVoe, BarberMcMurry Architects; Buddy Heins, Merit Construction; and Clint Waddell and Orlando Diaz, Partners.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero; the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA); Red Stone Equity Partners; Home Federal Bank of Tennessee; elected officials; design and construction partners; and stakeholders joined the celebration for the upcoming affordable housing community. Construction is expected to be completed in summer 2020.

“The remarkable transformation underway at Five Points is a result of collaboration,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “The City of Knoxville, HUD, THDA and other stakeholders share our commitment to creating revitalized affordable housing communities where families can thrive.”

Five Points 4 includes 31 buildings with a total of 82 units ranging from one to five bedrooms. The community will include a playground, open green space and a computer room. The structures in Phase 4 include features adhering to Enterprise Green Communities Certification criteria. The certification is earned through sustainable construction, healthy living environment, emphasis on energy efficiency and conservation of resources.

Construction cost for Five Points 4 is approximately $14.5 million and will be funded primarily through $11 million in low-income housing tax credits from THDA. Red Stone Equity Partners serves as equity partner, and Home Federal Bank of Tennessee is the mortgage lender.

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is a credit against federal income tax liability each year for 10 years for owners and investors in low-income rental housing. The credits allowed KCDC to raise private equity for Phase 4.

The City of Knoxville has made a major investment in the area’s revitalization plan. Since 2009, it has invested more than $13 million in the full Five Points site for extensive utilities replacement, adding or widening existing streets, and constructing new sidewalks to improve walkability and connectivity of housing to the community.

“It has been an honor as Mayor to invest in this revitalization and to observe the hard work and passion that has gone into reenergizing this neighborhood in support of its families,” Rogero said. “I want to commend KCDC and all the partners involved on their commitment to not just building housing but building community.”

Five Points 4 project was designed by Knoxville’s BarberMcMurry Architects and Pittsburgh-based Urban Design Associates, and the construction contractor is Merit Construction. KCDC’s owner’s representative on the project is Partners.

The Five Points Master Plan, led by Johnson Architecture, was developed with years of community input as a guide to replace the outdated Walter P. Taylor Homes and Lee Williams developments with modern affordable housing units. The four-phase plan was designed to build on previous redevelopment in the area, including the adaptive reuse of Eastport School and The Residences at Eastport senior housing.

Phase 1 of the plan was realized in 2017 with the opening of The Residences at Five Points, a three-story, 90-unit complex of housing for seniors and people with disabilities. Phase 2, a 10-building, 84-unit affordable housing community, opened in 2018. Also in 2018, construction began on Phase 3, a 28-building, 80-unit affordable housing community; Phase 3 will be completed this year.

“We appreciate the vision of the community and the master planning team for charting the path we continue today,” Bentley said. “And we especially appreciate the commitment of Five Points residents to the renewal of their own neighborhood.”