Asheville Council to consider Rad Lofts incentives

Rad Lofts developer Harry Pilos. File photo by Max Cooper.
Rad Lofts developer Harry Pilos. File photo by Max Cooper.

On Aug. 26, Asheville City Council will consider providing a roughly $764,000 incentive package to developers of the RAD Lofts, a mixed use development planned for the intersection of Roberts Street and Clingman Extension. In exchange, owners would provide 198 units of workforce housing and 11 units of affordable housing. The project would also encompass more than 48,000 square-feet of commercial space, including street-front retail outlets and second floor offices, as well as a 136-space parking garage.

In its request to the city, the development company, RAD Lofts LLC, estimates it will invest $52 million into the building. Developer Harry Pilos notes in his written request that without the incentives, the company is “under no current obligation to provide affordable or work force housing as we are proposing.” He adds: “We do however believe it is important to try and make the numbers work to provide such rental housing to the market.”

He also writes: “We believe this project as conceived and designed will be a major contributor to the already evolving and dynamic neighborhood that the River Arts District has become.”

In addition, the plans call for cleaning up contamination at the site, formerly a steel factory. The building would also be in compliance with Energy Star environmental requirements.

The agreement defines “workforce housing” as rents that require payment of no more than 30 percent of gross income for a household with an income at or below 120 percent of the area median income. It defines “affordable housing” as rents that require payment of no more than 30 percent of gross income for a household with an income not exceeding 80 percent of the area median income. That should translate to limits ranging roughly from $1,300 for apartments classified as “workforce” to $900 for those classified as “affordable.”

Asheville City Council meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, in room 209 of City Hall. Read the meeting agenda here.

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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning writer and reporter who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

2 thoughts on “Asheville Council to consider Rad Lofts incentives

  1. Johnny Belinda

    Rental price per square foot for one bedroom, two bedroom apartments would be helpful.

    • Jake Frankel

      By my rough calculations the rent limits would range from $1,300 for apartments classified as “workforce” to $900 for those classified as “affordable.” I’ll get more specifics from the developer at the meeting tomorrow.

      Also, fyi, I’m not sure how exactly they derived these figures, but the AC-T reports (http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2014/08/17/asheville-may-pay-keep-rad-apt-project-affordable/14212351/): “The workforce limits are $1,267 for one-bedroom apartments and $1,418 for two-bedroom units. The rents for those ["affordable"] units would be $819 for one-bedroom apartments and $914 for two-bedroom units.”

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