KCDC launches construction on new Five Points affordable housing

On May 14, 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 Phase 3, an affordable housing complex to be built at the west corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and McConnell Street.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA), Wells Fargo, Home Federal Bank, elected officials, construction partners and stakeholders joined the celebration for the upcoming 28-building, 80-unit complex. Construction is expected to be completed in summer 2019.

“Today is another example of successful collaboration among KCDC, HUD, the City of Knoxville and THDA – and continues our commitment to affordable housing in the Five Points community,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “This ongoing redevelopment has helped transform the fabric of this neighborhood. I look forward to welcoming families to their new homes next year.”

Construction cost is approximately $12.5 million and will be funded primarily through low-income housing tax credits from THDA. Wells Fargo 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 3.

The City of Knoxville has made a major investment in the area’s revitalization plan. Beginning in 2009, the city committed $800,000 annually for 10 years to the total master plan project. An additional $1.55 million was committed in the city’s 2018 budget, and $3.48 million is planned for 2019. The city’s total investment in the Five Points neighborhood is more than $13 million. These funds are used to upgrade infrastructure throughout the Five Points development, including extensive utilities replacement, adding or widening existing streets, and constructing new sidewalks to improve walkability and connectivity of housing to the community.

“Phase 3 of the Five Points revitalization continues the community’s vision for a vibrant, walkable, livable neighborhood,” Rogero said. “The new attractive housing and community amenities, such as play areas and green space, will create a comfortable environment for residents and enhance the surrounding neighborhood.”

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) celebrated the groundbreaking for Five Points Phase 3, a 28-building, 80-unit affordable housing complex in East Knoxville, on May 14. Participating in the program, from left: John Winemiller, Gloria Garner and Robyn McAdoo, KCDC Board of Commissioners; KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley; State Rep. Rick Staples; Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett; Gwen McKenzie, Finnbar Saunders and Marshall Stair, Knoxville City Council; Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero; Lisa Laugherty, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Katie Moore, Tennessee Housing Development Agency; Matthew Parkhill, Wells Fargo; David Reynolds, Home Federal Bank; Mike Dooley and Ellen DeVoe, BarberMcMurry Architects; Todd Stiles, Jenkins & Stiles; and Christi Branscom and Orlando Diaz, Partners.

The Five Points Phase 3 project was designed by Knoxville’s BarberMcMurry Architects and Pittsburgh-based Urban Design Associates, and the construction contractor is Jenkins & Stiles, LLC. KCDC’s owner’s representative on the project is Partners.

Five Points Phase 3 includes 28 buildings with a total of 80 one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The community will include a playground, open green space and a computer room. The structures in Phase 3 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.

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.

Phase 1 of the Five Points Master Plan was realized last summer when The Residences at Five Points, a three-story, 90-unit complex of housing for seniors and people with disabilities, opened on Bethel Avenue.

Also in 2017, KCDC broke ground on Five Points Phase 2, an affordable housing complex under construction on the east side of McConnell Street along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. The 10-building, 84-unit development will be completed this summer.

The Five Points Master Plan, to be completed in four phases, builds on previous redevelopment in the area. The plan encompasses the removal of 183 units of outdated housing and construction of 122 units of new affordable housing, including the adaptive reuse of the Eastport School as The Residences at Eastport senior housing. In July 2017, The Residences at Five Points, a 90-unit complex for elderly and disabled people, was completed. Five Points Phase 2, an 84-unit community for families, began leasing in April. KCDC and the City of Knoxville have committed to Five Points revitalization more than $83 million since 2010.

“Five Points is an important, historical community in Knoxville,” Bentley said. “We appreciate the hard work and dedication of all of our stakeholders involved in the Five Points Master Plan and especially the residents who are so committed to the renewal of their own neighborhood.”