Affordable-housing apartments north of City Hall moving forward

Planning & Zoning approved these elevations, along with site, landscape and photometric plans for the proposed Ironwood Ranch Apartments to be located just north of City Hall. The 252-unit community will feature affordable housing targeted to the city's work force. [City of Maricopa]

The Planning & Zoning Commission this week unanimously approved site, landscape, elevation and photometric plans for a 252-unit, affordable-housing community just north of City Hall.

The multi-family project, known as Ironwood Ridge, would occupy 13.9 acres at the southeastern corner of North White and Parker Road and West Lococo Street.

Commissioner Ted Yocum said the project addresses areas commissioners emphasized previously.

“I like what I see, and I’m impressed with the fact that you’re paying attention to getting away from the warehouse look, which we’ve had in the past,” Yocum said. “I think the use of the elevations, the textures and materials and colors, especially on the building ends and corners, I think incorporating those makes it much more pleasing to the eye.”

The development would consist of 252 residential multi-family units in 10 three-story buildings. There would be a mix of two-, three, and four-bedroom units of 923 to 1,342 square feet. Each would have a private balcony or patio.

According to a pre-application narrative submitted to the city, developer Lincoln Avenue Capital “will develop the project utilizing the federal Section 42 Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. Lincoln’s target demographic caters to workforce residents and their families, such as those working at a grocery, retail, teachers, municipal and factory/assembly workers.

The proposed Ironwood Ranch multi-family development would be 100% income-restricted at or below 60% of Area Median Income for a minimum of 15 years.

“The LIHTC program encourages the investment of private capital for the development of rental housing by providing a credit to offset an investor’s federal income tax liability and, uniquely, allows workforce/affordable rental housing to be developed at a quality level and with amenities that rival traditional market-rate projects,” the pre-application narrative states.

It says addition of this multi-family living option “will fill an important niche for workforce housing in the community and will help diversify the lifestyle options available to citizens wanting to live and work in the city of Maricopa.”

The community would include community pool and spa, ramadas, barbecue, playground areas, community park, dog park with wash area and clubhouse with fitness area.

Lincoln believes the availability of two-, three- and four-bedroom units would “invite a diverse blend of residents, from young singles starting their career, small- and medium-size families, as well as empty nesters looking to scale back and enjoy their retirement years in a safe and beautiful location.

The property initially would include 10 electric-vehicle charging stations with the potential to increase to 50. Matt Klein of Lincoln Avenue Capital could not say exactly when the other EV charging stations might be installed.

“This is affordable housing, as you all know, under Section 42,” Klein said. “It is desperately needed by the city to diversify the housing stock and drive retail and commercial growth. Each EV charging station costs roughly $25,000 to install. So right now, we would love to put all of them in. We are incredibly bullish on the long-term need for environmental and sustainable incorporation in projects as evidenced by our massive $3 million solar-carport system.”

The solar-carport system would feature solar panels on rooftops of covered-parking spaces that would generate electricity for the community.

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