JCDA receives good news on John Sevier Center revenues and relocation | WJHL

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Johnson City Development Authority (JCDA) commissioners received some welcome news on Friday, including that John Sevier Center (JSC) rental revenue will increase 70%, retroactive to August.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved a housing allowance increase for the John Sevier Center that will significantly increase revenue for the Johnson City Development Authority. (Photo WJHL)

This will bring about $750,000 in additional annual revenue for the 150-unit apartment complex that JCDA purchased in 2019 and allow the agency to rebuild its finances, which have been taxed with hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs to the 97 year round. which serves elderly and disabled residents.

“We have obtained verification from the HUD office that the approval has been granted,” Alvin Nance of LHP Capital told the commissioners. LHP manages the JSC and is also set to build a 145 unit project on South Roan Street to replace the JSC.

News of the rental came on a day when commissioners also approved signing a letter asking the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to transfer its supported housing contract from JCDA and JSC to LHP Capital and a new development, Tapestry at Roan Hill, which LHP will build on South Roan Street.

Nance said the company is closing Friday the purchase of the land just south of Food City where it hopes to complete the new apartments by the end of 2025. LHP is paying $1.2 million for the 20-acre parcel.

Nance said the so-called “HAP” transfer will take up to a year, but is essentially a formality. It will give LHP the right to transfer rental assistance rights on the JSC apartments to the 145 one-bedroom units that will comprise the Tapestry Building.

JADC Vice President Shannon Castillo said the flurry of news was welcome.

“It’s great,” Castillo said. “It’s not the first step, it’s step 25 out of 50, but our major milestones are starting to be accomplished and that should make everyone feel good.”

The latest plan approved for new apartments to replace those at the John Sevier Center. (Johnson City Planning Commission)

While brand new housing for residents remains, Castillo said major hurdles have been overcome for what she called the end results.

“The first fork is dealing with the citizens of Johnson City who live in the John Sevier, and then the other is ‘what happens to this building in the end,'” she said.

JADC borrowed just over $4 million to buy the iconic former hotel at South Roan and Market streets, in part because of its perceived potential to be redeveloped and become an anchor for the center’s growth -town.

“We can dream all we want of this second part,” she said. “We have to take care of that first part first, and that’s what we’re doing now, is making sure that these people, our citizens of Johnson City, have a better place to live at the end of the day. .”

The estimated $754,560 in incremental rental income, Castillo said, “means that we may not be staying up in the middle of the night worrying (about the JADC budget) and we could have, now, a very good plan.

“All this money we put into this project knowing that we have this unpaid bill that has to go back to JADC, now we have a plan for us to be financially solvent, and that’s a good thing too,” he said. she stated. .

The influx of cash could help fund improvements and security for the current building

JSC residents won’t see their rents increase due to HUD’s approval of the so-called “market-to-market” rent increase, and Nance said one of the things the funds will do is d help LHP pay for upgrades to the current location.

A resident of the John Sevier Center in Johnson City, Tennessee, points to the site where one of 14 security cameras was stolen in June. The cameras have since been reinstalled. (Photo WJHL)

“We need to start this process to get into free laundry for residents and cable as well,” Nance said. LHP has promised these changes in the spring pending this rent change.

LHP will meet with residents on October 6 to share the new information, including renderings showing the new building and details of the improvements the rent increase will mean for them. All that extra money, which is expected to boost JADC’s annual rental income from $1.07 million to $1.83 million, comes from federal grants, not residents.

This new amenities will include vouchers for existing JSC laundry facilities and free cable. Nance also said LHP is very open to the possibility of the JADC funding increased security in the building, which some residents say is badly needed.

“We’ve had conversations about that with the extra cash flow, do we then bring in a security guard, for example, for the weekends, or certain periods of time off that might be beneficial,” said Nancy.

LHP leaders also told JCDA Executive Director Tish Oldham that they wanted to discuss with the Johnson City Police Department how to work together regarding the JSC.

“We would love to be able to have a conversation about developing a neighborhood watch program in the building and commit to it,” Nance said.

“We’re always determined to say, ‘hey, how can we improve things here to make it safer for residents.'”

Sallie R. Loera