New high quality affordable apartments will soon be coming to New Bern, partially filling a gap Hurricane Florence left in Trent Court in 2018 when 218 units were damaged beyond repair.
Carolina Avenue Apartments will be an 84-unit apartment community located southwest of downtown at 801 Carolina Avenue.
Mosaic Development Group, Inc. (Mosaic), a Charlotte based nonprofit organization, and Better Vision Housing Corporation (Better Vision) which is an instrumentality of the Housing Authority of the City of New Bern (Housing Authority), are partnering to develop Carolina Avenue Apartments.
The apartments will serve residents who earn up to 60 percent of area median income with some units reserved for those at 30 percent of the median income. Construction will begin this summer with the first buildings anticipated to ready in late summer or early fall of 2021.
Funding for Carolina Avenue is provided by equity investments from RBC Community Investments, LLC, made possible through the allocation of housing tax credits by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency. In addition the development received loans from JPMorgan Chase, the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, and the Housing Authority. Financing from NCHFA includes a $1,062,000 Disaster Recovery loan which was made possible by the North Carolina State Legislature as part of the 2018 Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Act.
New Bern had pent up demand for new high quality affordable apartments long before Hurricane Florence. The need was exasperated in September 2018 by the effect of Hurricane Florence causing significant damage and loss of housing particularly at the Housing Authority’s property Trent Court.
In total, 108 of Trent Court’s 218 units were damaged and the 12 buildings in which those units were located were permanently closed and recommended for demolition. With most rental properties in the New Bern area fully occupied with long wait lists, many individuals and families displaced by Florence were left struggling to find safe and decent affordable housing. Carolina Avenue Apartments will provide a new affordable option for both those displaced by the storm and other community members looking for housing.
Lead developer Mosaic is partner with Better Vision and the Housing Authority to make this critical housing a reality. Mosaic has a current portfolio of over 1,000 apartment units across North Carolina and Carolina Avenue will be their second property in New Bern. Weatherstone Park (located just off Tobiano Drive), is a 44 unit affordable apartment community for seniors completed by Mosaic in 2001.
According to Kathy Stilwell, Executive Director of Mosaic, “Carolina Avenue is truly a community effort and we are grateful for everyone’s contributions. Better Vision, the Housing Authority, our financial partners, professional consultants, City officials, staff and plan reviewers and countless others have worked tirelessly during the challenging circumstances of the pandemic to keep this development moving forward for the benefit of the families who will call Carolina Avenue home.”
Carolina Avenue Apartments are designed to provide families modern high quality, safe, and energy efficient housing at a price that is affordable to a variety of different incomes. There will be many energy efficient features, including fully-equipped kitchens with ENERGY STAR refrigerator, dishwasher and electric range. All apartments will have washer/dryer closets with connections, carpet, blinds, and each apartment will have a private balcony.
The property will have 18 one-bedroom units, 48 two bedroom units, and 18 three-bedroom units. The proposed rents are projected to be from $283 to $580 a month for a one-bedroom, $328 to $680 a month for a two-bedroom, and $370 to $770 a month for a three-bedroom.
Excel Property Management will professionally manage Carolina Avenue Apartments with site manager and maintenance staff. Residents of Carolina Avenue Apartments will have access to onsite amenities including a community building with a computer room, an exercise room, a laundry room, office space for management staff, playground and a covered picnic area. The location of the apartments offers a unique blend of a quiet residential neighborhood with easy access to nearby grocery, retail, and healthcare. The property will begin accepting applications next spring and individuals interested in being placed on the contact list can call (919) 878-0522 ext. 265.
Steve Strickland, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Housing Authority, added “The Housing Authority is excited to make its next investment in affordable housing for the citizens of New Bern. This project varies greatly from our more traditional Trent Court and New Bern Towers properties. While the Housing Authority will not actively manage Carolina Avenue initially, we look forward to our continued work with Mosaic and Excel Property Management to gain valuable experience on this particular type of development. We’re especially grateful to all of our lenders and development partners for their willingness to offer special acknowledgements to those displaced by Hurricane Florence.”
Stilwell says, “The continued commitment of the City and the Housing Authority to the residents of New Bern has made it possible to address the critical housing need by developing Carolina Avenue Apartments. Carolina Avenue Apartments is a perfect example of a successful partnership between the Housing Authority and the co-developers of the apartments, Mosaic and Better Vision, with the common goal of providing safe high-quality housing to those that need it at an affordable price.”
Carolina Avenue Apartments, Mosaic Development Group, Inc., Better Vision Housing Corporation and the Housing Authority of the City of New Bern do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, or familial status.