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Charlotte Area

Developer Donates Land In River District For Affordable Housing

The proposed River District development is on about 1,400 acres between I-485 and the Catawba River.

Crescent Communities said Monday it will donate 4 ½ acres for affordable housing in the planned River District project in west Charlotte. The land — worth $2 million — eventually will be developed by Laurel Street Homes of Charlotte, which plans to build 124 units there by late 2021.

Laurel said about 20 percent of the units will go to residents who make less than 30 percent of the area median income, which is currently about $18,000 a year for a family of two.  That's one of the most urgent needs as the city tries to chip away at a shortage of affordable units.

The donation is the first in a campaign led by Foundation for the Carolinas to raise $50 million from the private sector for affordable housing. That would match the $50 million in bonds that voters will be asked to approve in November for the city's Housing Trust Fund.

In May, Foundation for the Carolinas announced it would spend $5 million to create a private Housing Opportunity Investment Fund, to build more affordable housing in the city. The foundation said it's designed to work with the city's Housing Trust Fund, and would be contingent on voter approval of the bonds in November.

Mayor Vi Lyles said she hopes other groups and businesses will join the campaign.

“With the announcement of our bond referendum, the city signaled that we were ‘all-in’ in support of increased access to affordable housing,” Lyles said in a statement. “Crescent Community’s donation of land in the River District – a development that is vitally important to economic growth on the west side of Charlotte – is a great example of doing business differently, and I hope others follow.”

The land is near a planned extension of West Boulevard at Dixie River Road, west of Charlotte Douglas airport. Crescent said it will build a massive mixed-use development on 1,400 acres in in the area over the next few decades.