AGENDA: Affordable housing deal goes before city’s Urban Renewal Agency

A depiction of the new Jory Apartments, a new building that will include affordable housing. (City of Salem)

Salem’s Urban Renewal Agency will meet Monday evening to consider an agreement that will give a developer a tax break in exchange for building affordable housing. 

Under the agreement, MWIC Jory, LLC will develop and maintain 36 units for people earning an average of 60% of the median area’s income in the Jory Apartments development. In exchange, the developer will receive property tax rebates beginning in 2023 and continuing through 2052 if it maintains the conditions of the agreement. The total rebate payments are expected to total about $12 million over 30 years.

According to the city’s website, a single person earning $​24,550 is at 60% of the area’s median income. A family of four making $47,210 would also be at that level. 

The agreement also requires that on average no more than 7% of units may be vacant each year. The owner must begin the project by August 31, 2020, and substantially complete the development by August 31, 2022. The new apartment building will be located at the corner of Park Avenue N.E. and D Street N.E. 

According to a city document, the Jory Apartments development will include 240 planned multi-family housing units. In addition to the 36 affordable units, the owner expects to lease 12 units to individuals earning 80 percent of area median income, 12 units to individuals earning 60 percent of area median income and 12 units to individuals earning 40 percent of area median income.

The development is in one of Salem’s seven urban renewal areas. These areas are special districts where a portion of the property taxes generated in them is used for redevelopment projects meant to attract private investment and improve property values.  

(DISCLOSURE: The Cornerstone Apartments were built in part by Mountain West Investment Corp, whose owner, Larry Tokarski, is a co-founder of Salem Reporter)

Meeting details: 6 p.m. Monday, July 27, Zoom virtual meeting. Link: https://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/Public-Comment-at-Salem-City-Council-Meeting.aspx

Board members: Chuck Bennett (chair), Cara Kaser, Chris Hoy, Jacqueline Leung, Jim Lewis, Matt Ausec, Tom Andersen.

SUPPORT ESSENTIAL REPORTING FOR SALEM – A subscription starts at $5 a month for around-the-clock access to stories and email alerts sent directly to you. Your support matters. Go HERE.

Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or [email protected] or @jakethomas2009.