80-unit complex completes third of four-phase development
Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC), along with business and community leaders and members of the Five Points community, officially opened Five Points 3 on Sept. 26, an affordable housing complex at the west corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and McConnell Street that brings the Five Points revitalization one step away from final completion.
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and City Council representative Gwen McKenzie joined representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA); financing and construction partners; and other community stakeholders to celebrate the 28-building, 80-unit complex that reflects the fabric of the surrounding East Knoxville community.
“The transformation of the neighborhood started with the successful collaboration among KCDC, HUD, the City of Knoxville and THDA and a commitment to affordable housing in the Five Points community,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “It also has succeeded because of input from members of the community as vested stakeholders in the revitalization of their neighborhood.”
Construction cost totaled approximately $12.5 million and was 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 the development of Five Points 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 another $3.48 million was added to the 2019 budget for a total investment in the Five Points neighborhood that exceeds $13 million. The funds have upgraded infrastructure throughout the Five Points development, including replacing utilities, adding or widening existing streets, and building new sidewalks for walkability and connectivity of the community.
“The City is proud to work with partners like KCDC to support the construction of sustainable and affordable housing in our community,” Rogero said. “The revitalization of Five Points means residents can more easily and safely connect with their neighbors, churches, schools and businesses. Affordable housing allows neighborhoods to endure and thrive.”
Knoxville’s BarberMcMurry Architects and Pittsburgh-based Urban Design Associates designed the Five Points 3 project. The construction contractor was Jenkins & Stiles, LLC, and KCDC’s owner’s representative is Partners.
Five Points 3 includes a total of 80 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, a playground, open green space and a computer room. The structures adhere to Enterprise Green Communities Certification criteria through sustainable construction, healthy living environment, emphasis on energy efficiency and conservation of resources.
The four-phase 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. This master plan builds on previous redevelopment in the area, including the adaptive reuse of the Eastport School as The Residences at Eastport senior housing. KCDC and the City of Knoxville have committed nearly $80 million since 2010 to Five Points revitalization.
The first phase of the Five Points Master Plan was realized in 2017 when The Residences at Five Points, a three-story, 90-unit complex of housing for seniors and people with disabilities, opened on Bethel Avenue. In 2018, KCDC opened Five Points 2, a 10-building, 84-unit affordable housing complex on the east side of McConnell Street along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.
Earlier this year, KCDC broke ground on Five Points 4, an affordable housing complex with 31 buildings and a total of 82 units ranging from one to five bedrooms, at the intersection of Kenner Avenue and McConnell Street. Five Points 4 is expected to be completed in the summer of 2020, the opening of which will mark the realization of the Five Points Master Plan.
“The revitalization of Five Points mattered to a lot of people because this is an important neighborhood in Knoxville with a rich history,” Bentley said. “The people who live and work in Five Points wanted a vibrant neighborhood. KCDC is appreciative of all of our stakeholders who believed in the Five Points Master Plan and have worked so hard to reach this point. I look forward to next year when we celebrate the culmination of this vital development.”