A grand opening celebration was held Tuesday, December 3, at Freedman Point, 311 E. Cawson Street, Hopewell, VA, to mark the opening of the new 68-unit affordable apartments within a mixed-use community. The $14.4 million community was developed by Woda Cooper Companies, Inc., Columbus, OH. Co-developer is Bay Aging, Urbanna, VA.
In addition to two- and three-bedroom apartments, the new property also brings a large commercial space to be developed for retail businesses or professional offices. This will complement many other nearby retail businesses, restaurants, service outlets, and community amenities including the adjacent Appomattox Regional Library.
Freedman Point was supported through Low Income Housing Tax Credits allocated by the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). Rents for apartments at Freedman Point are affordable for families and seniors earning up to 60% of area median income (AMI).
“Across Virginia, we’ve seen how quality, affordable housing has transformed lives and communities,” said VHDA Chief Executive Officer Susan Dewey. “We were pleased for Hopewell that this development received tax credits, because it will offer 68 new, affordable rental homes to make the city an even better, more prosperous place to live, work and raise a family. Woda Cooper has proven once again that it can build and manage high-quality, resident-friendly communities for all Virginians, and we look forward to continuing our work with them in the future.”
The new property is comprised of 48 two-bedroom, and 20 three-bedroom apartment homes in a four-story building with an elevator and onsite parking. Each unit offers attractive open-concept living spaces with modern finishes and many energy-saving features. Apartments feature large closets; ENERGY STAR appliances, including a dishwasher, frost free refrigerator and range; washer and dryer hook up; individually controlled heating/air conditioning; and energy efficient windows. Seven units have ADA features for those with disabilities. There is also an onsite management office, community room with kitchenette, high-speed internet, and rooftop terrace.
Energy efficiency to ensure low monthly utility bills for residents was a key component in designing and building Freedman Point. It is expected to meet EarthCraft Gold standards certified by Viridiant. Hooker DeJong was architect and Woda Construction, Inc. was general contractor.
Catalyst for development
The City of Hopewell provided strong support the new housing option to answer a strong demand for affordable housing and support downtown. “The 68 affordable, high quality homes for working families will help spur revitalization and economic development in the neighborhood,” said Bruce Watts, Woda Cooper Vice President of Development. “We appreciate the City of Hopewell’s support in providing an incentive grant as one of the primary outreach initiatives of the New Downtown Revitalization Plan.”
The opening of Freedman Point represents the City’s desire to provide housing at all levels of affordability, said Hopewell Mayor Jasmine Gore. “This project addresses the need for affordable housing for public safety employees, downtown business employees and others who are employed but may not be able to afford market rate housing,” she said.
The Hopewell Redevelopment and Housing Authority (HRHA) also committed support, offering project-based rental assistance for eight units at Freedman Point. “Applicants seeking rental assistance are screened and approved by HRHA,” said Steven A. Benham, Chief Executive Officer of HRHA. “The development of Freedman Point and the inclusion of vouchers is consistent with the vison of the housing authority to create or participate in the creation of quality affordable housing for the citizens of Hopewell.”
Bank of America, N.A. was the primary equity investor for the housing tax credits, and contributed a Federal Housing Administration low interest permanent loan in conjunction with JLL. “Bank of America was proud to work with Woda Cooper Companies to provide financing to help facilitate the revitalization in downtown Hopewell,” said Susan Monaco, Senior Vice President/FHA Chief Underwriter FHA Multifamily. “Freedman Point Apartments is a beautiful, new construction community that will provide 68 families with much needed affordable housing.”
About Woda Cooper Companies, Inc.
Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. and its affiliates are experienced developers, general contractors, and property managers specializing in the design, construction, and management of affordable multi-family apartments, senior communities, and single-family homes. Considered leading experts in the affordable housing industry, the Woda Cooper team is known for producing and maintaining high quality affordable housing. Affordable Housing Finance ranked the firm 13th overall among Developers and 26th overall among Owners in its April/May 2019 issue. Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. has developed and currently manages more than 300 communities and 12,000 units, operating in 15 states. In addition to its Columbus headquarters, the firm has offices in Savannah, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Shelbyville, Kentucky; Annapolis, Maryland; Mackinaw City, Michigan; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Norfolk, Virginia. For more information, call (614) 396-3200 or visit www.wodagroup.com