Hickory – Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. released a short video today to celebrate the recent start of construction at Center Crossing in downtown Hickory, North Carolina. Located at 105 S. Center Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue, Center Crossing, a 50-unit affordable rental community for seniors, will be near the city’s downtown Union Square and close to many shopping, dining, and cultural opportunities, plus various medical facilities and public offices.

Center Crossing will serve seniors aged 55 and older who earn up to 80% of area median income (AMI) with some units reserved for those at 40%, 50%, and 60% AMI.

Several partners joined Woda Cooper Companies’ Senior Vice President Denis Blackburne in the virtual groundbreaking celebration that highlights how Center Crossing will help address the need for affordable housing while sparking more development downtown in Hickory. “We are excited that this development, just a few blocks away from Union Square downtown Hickory, will really help revitalize the downtown core of the City,” said Blackburne.

Hickory’s Mayor Hank Guess welcomed the new community to Hickory: “Center Crossing will offer much-needed affordable housing with easy access to City amenities and all the benefits of living downtown,” said Mayor Guess. “We are excited to see this latest project officially break ground and join the growing list of development activities we are seeing throughout downtown Hickory.”

The attractive, brick-accented four-story elevator building will have 28 one-bedroom and 22 two-bedroom apartments, plus many amenities such as an onsite management office, a multipurpose space with kitchenette, laundry, fitness center, and computer room, said Blackburne. Outside amenities include off-street parking, a covered patio with seating and additional outdoor seating areas located throughout the property. Energy efficiency is a priority and will meet the standards and requirements for ENERGY STAR 2.0.

North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) allocated federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to Center Crossing to support equity financing. “It takes a unique public-private partnership, working together to build a community of this caliber and I want to congratulate the Woda Group and all of their partners for all of the work that has led to this day,” said NCHFA’s Executive Director Scott Farmer.

The pandemic has magnified the need for safe, stable, and affordable housing. “Center Crossing will provide 50 much-needed new homes for seniors in Hickory and will be coming online at a critical time as the need for affordable housing continues to grow across the state and country,” Farmer said.

Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) provided a $250,000 HOME loan through its Unifour Home Consortium which was vital local support. “We think this will be a fabulous project for downtown Hickory,” said Rick Oxford, HOME Program Director for WPCOG.

Each apartment at Center Crossing will offer a bright, comfortable, and efficient living space with several accessible units for those with mobility challenges, as well as units specifically equipped for those with sight/hearing impairments. All apartments will have central, electric heat and air conditioning, washer/dryer closets with connections, carpet, blinds, and each apartment will have a 16 square feet dedicated storage area. Each will also be pre-wired for cable, telephone, and internet access. A covered bus stop is located in front of the site.

CREA, LLC is investor in the tax credits. Adam Lavelle, CREA’s Account Manager, Acquisitions, emphasized the importance of supporting quality projects driven by experienced teams. “We strive to partner with reputable groups in strong markets and with teams that have a proven track record of success in developing quality affordable housing,” Lavelle said.

RiverHills Bank is providing the construction loan and permanent debt mortgage. Raleigh-based TightLines Designs is architect with engineering by Mc2 Engineering, Inc. Woda Construction, Inc. is general contractor, and Woda Cooper Companies’ management division will oversee leasing and property management.