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Upscale Townhome Project In Davidson Will Have Affordable Units

An architect's drawing of the planned Hoke Townhomes in Davidson.
Alliance Group/Town of Davidson Planning Department
An architect's drawing of the planned Hoke Townhomes in Davidson.

The town board in Davidson Tuesday night approved a plan that will use public and private money to build affordable housing as part of a proposed 81-unit luxury townhome development.

Eight affordable units will be scattered throughout the new neighborhood, which is to be built at the former Hoke Lumber yard off Jetton Street on Davidson's west side. To help the developer build the units:

  • The town will kick in $400,000 from its affordable housing fund.
  • Another $400,000 will come from the Davidson Community Foundation.
  • The developer, Alliance Group, also agreed to discount the home prices by $150,000 per unit.

The Davidson Housing Coalition will buy and rent the units to low-income residents. The coalition says they'll be affordable to people making 50-80% of the area median income, or $44,000 to $65,000 annually for a family of four.

“Over 90% of the people who work in Davidson live elsewhere, mostly due to lack of affordability," said Gerald Wright, executive director of the Davidson Housing Coalition. "Davidson Housing Coalition believes that a mix of people in all income levels is fundamental to and distinguishes us as a community. These new affordable housing units within the Hoke Townhome development will allow families of teachers, police officers, firefighters and nurses, to name a few, to live in the town they serve.”

The Alliance Group townhomes project is to be built on the site of the former Hoke Lumber, off Jetton Street in Davidson.
David Boraks
The Alliance Group townhomes project is to be built on the site of the former Hoke Lumber, off Jetton Street in Davidson.

The now-approved Affordable Housing Plan was a reversal from a year ago when the developers presented a development without any affordable units. The developers have said the townhomes will sell for "the high 300s" to more than $400,000.

Davidson requires new housing developments to include affordable units, but developers have the option of making what's known as a "payment in lieu," which goes to the town's affordable housing fund. In a series of meetings, residents and local officials pushed Alliance Group to reconsider.

The historically African American west side of Davidson is already gentrifying, as demand for housing near downtown drives up housing prices.

"I just think we have to be more cognizant of how it's affecting those who really can't afford to do anything different," resident Marvin Brandon told WFAE in January. "...This community will eventually be nothing but rich people."

Jacob Anderson is the owner of developer Alliance Group. He said in a press release Wednesday: “We heard the feedback from the community loud and clear, and believe that incorporating affordable housing into the Hoke Townhome plans is the right thing to do. The best thing we can do to bring value to the Davidson community is to be responsive to clearly identified needs and desires.”

Davidson's housing and equity director, Eugene Bradley, said the town is in the midst of developing a new affordable housing plan. This project could be a model for future affordable housing developments, according to the partners.

"The town has long been committed to affordable housing, and we are so grateful for the collaboration between so many partnering organizations to bring this project to fruition," said Bradley, who was hired in October 2020. "The 8 Hoke Townhome affordable housing units are a big step forward for our community.”

The townhomes for rent will be 1,900 to 2,000 square feet and have three bedrooms, 2.5 baths and two-car garages. Davidson Housing Coalition will pay $234,000 to $256,000 for the units.

Construction will start this summer, and units will be available in early 2022.

See more about the project on Davidson Planning Department website.

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David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.