A proposal to turn the former Washington Elementary School into affordable housing will not move forward this year.
“I was very hopeful I’d be here today with good news,” Matt Gillam, vice president of development for Overland Property Group, Lenexa, told the Hays USD 489 school board at its regular meeting Monday night.
“However, we were informed very recently that we did not receive funding. We’ve got a bit of a unique situation in front of us right now,” he said.
The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation urged the project pushed to 2020, as it did not have enough federal tax credits to allocate this year, Gillam said.
The board entered a contract with OPG in January for $500,000 with $5,000 earnest money for the Washington building and the land at 305 Main. OPG, which has offices in Salina, has plans to invest $4 million to renovate the building into one- and three-bedroom apartments.
The housing would add to OPG’s 63 units of Stonepost Apartments on and near south Main it has built in the last 12 years.
The developer has financed those projects through the federal Low Income Tax Housing Credit Program, which stipulates residents have income at or below 60 percent of the area’s median income.
The project received full point scoring on its application for location, city/community funding Gillam said, but lost points on income targeting.
“That comes into what type of units we’re offering. They wanted to see a little bit more discounted low-income units based on the community’s needs,” Gillam said.
Gillam said that while the board has the option to cancel the contract with OPG and consider other offers on the property, he urged them to consider a new contract with OPG so the company can reapply for the tax credits in February.
“Just for your information, up until today I spent roughly $30,000 pursuing this. Hopefully you guys understand that I’m very serious about this,” he said.
Watch for more details on this story Tuesday at HDNews.net and in Wednesday’s Hays Daily News.