Benton, part of Polk County, Tennessee, is a small town that sits at the Appalachian and Great Smoky mountains base. Polk County is also located near several major highways, offering convenient access to larger cities such as Chatanooga. Residents of Benton enjoy a quaint downtown area and the delicious home cooking that can be found on most corners. Although the town is considered rural, there has been an increase in both the total population as well as the number of households over the past several years, which is expected to continue. The two other low-income rental properties in the area have a combined occupancy rate of 98.5%, which indicates the need for additional affordable rental options.
Blue Ridge Landing is the rehabilitation of an existing property that was constructed more than 26 years ago and has consistently seen an occupancy rate of 90% or higher. The property consists of 48-units, spread between six two-story buildings, that are targeted to family households earning less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) with 10 of the units reserved for those earning below 50% of the AMI. 32 of the units within the property are three-bedroom, with the remaining 16 units being one-bedroom apartments. Extensive repairs such as the installation of all-new roofing and siding, as well as new countertops and cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom areas, were included in the renovation of Blue Ridge Landing. The toilets, bathtubs, and kitchen appliances were also replaced with modern equipment to provide a safer and more energy-efficient home for the residents.
Acquisition/Rehab: 48 Units
Private Equity Investment: $6,332,933
Local Jobs Supported: 27
Local Government Revenue: $135,072
The developer of this project, Woda Cooper Companies, is a company that has successfully developed more than 250 affordable housing units across 13 states since 1990. Woda Cooper Development, Inc. has previously partnered with CAHEC on more than 17 properties and is ranked as the sixth-largest affordable housing developer in the country. Woda Construction, Inc. and Woda Management & Real Estate, Inc., two affiliates of the company, served as the general contractor and will serve as the property management company of Blue Ridge Landing.
Residents of Blue Ridge Landing will now enjoy exterior improvements done to the site including updated landscaping, sidewalks, and parking areas. The property features other great amenities such as a community building equipped with a laundry room as well as a playground for children that was updated with brand new equipment as part of the renovation project. The work done to Blue Ridge Landing was thorough and will allow for the families who reside there to enjoy a safe and affordable place to call home for years to come.