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Work Begins On Affordable Apts. Next To Blue Line Stop

City and business leaders gathered Friday to mark the start of construction on a 198-unit affordable apartment complex along the Blue Line Light Rail extension in northeast Charlotte that's being built with a mix of private and city funds, and tax credits.

NRP Group of Cleveland is developing the Platform Lofts, which are aimed at people making 60 percent or less of the area median income, or about $44,500 a year.

It's only the second affordable housing project along the Blue Line Extension, which opened a year ago. (City officials say the 42-unit NoDa Lofts was the first.)  

"It's ideal," said City Council member Greg Phipps, who represents the area. "I think this is what we're talking about in terms of bringing affordable housing closer to rail lines, with the ability to access jobs, amenities, entertainment, education."

[Related: Council OKs $2.1M To Rehab East Charlotte Affordable Units]

The city of Charlotte is providing $5.1 million toward construction from the Housing Trust Fund. It's also supported by 4 percent federal tax credits and a low-interest loan from Bank of America.

The apartments are off North Tryon Street, across from the Old Concord Road light rail station, that once was a trailer park.

Aaron Pechota of NRP Group spoke at Friday's ceremony.
Credit David Boraks / WFAE
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WFAE
Aaron Pechota of NRP Group spoke at Friday's ceremony.

Most units will be 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms, with rents between $600 and just over $1,000, according to Aaron Pechota, senior vice president at NRP Group. The company also is developing a market-rate apartment complex nearby.  

Pechota said NRP believes market-rate and subsidized housing should be near one another.

"Here's the thing," he said, "mixed-income communities work. The age-old way cities were grown, where everyone lives close together right from the highest end to the lowest end of the economic spectrum, that's a healthy, healthy city."

Deed restrictions on the property require rents to remain affordable for 30 years. The Platform Lofts are scheduled to be ready for occupancy in the summer of 2020.