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D.C. Nonprofit To Develop NODA Mills

A Washington-based nonprofit developer is the final bidder to purchase two historic mill buildings in NODA from the City of Charlotte. The Community Builders' winning offer is just over $1.2 million - twice what it initially bid for the Johnston and Mecklenburg Mills site. The offer beat out competing bids from three Charlotte-area developers. The Community Builders Vice President Rob Fossi says his group is still working out how it will finance the project, which may include federal grants and tax credits for affordable housing. The City of Charlotte is requiring that The Community Builders make at least 20 percent of the units affordable. Fossi says the developer can meet that threshold, but the high bid price may mean fewer affordable units than the group originally hoped. "We want to be sensitive to those in the neighborhood that are clearly hopeful of some market rate units," says Fossi. "We also have a history of delivering a very high-quality affordable product as well. You will see a mix." The Community Builders plans to renovate the old mill buildings, rather than tear them down. Fossi says the units will most likely be available for rent - not sale. He says many of the development's details will be worked out in partnership with NODA residents and community leaders working to revitalize the area. The Charlotte City Council must still approve The Community Builders' final bid for the property. That vote is scheduled for April 25. Fossi says The Community Builders would like to begin renovating the mills site by the end of the year.