MARTA Announces Another Transaction of Greater Atlanta Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Preservation Fund
Fund to Preserve Affordable Units at Orchard Walk Apartments Located Near Planned South DeKalb Transit Hub
The Greater Atlanta Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Preservation Fund provided financing for Ulysses Development Group (UDG) and Sunrise Affordable Housing (SAH) to acquire Orchard Walk Apartments, for the preservation of a 204-unit affordable housing project located on Flat Shoals Parkway just south of the planned transit hub near the Gallery at South DeKalb Mall and MARTA bus route 114. The loan to an affiliate of UDG and SAH is $24 million.
The property, Orchard Walk Apartments, is located at 3800 Flat Shoals Pkwy. in the City of Decatur and near the intersection of Flat Shoals Parkway and I-285. Through the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) regulatory agreement, 163 of the project units are subject to income restrictions at 60 percent area median income (AMI). Ulysses Development Group along with Sunrise Affordable Housing Group, both leading, mission-driven affordable housing developers, intend to maintain the long-term affordability at the property and evaluate a tax credit syndication to facilitate further rehabilitation of the property.
In January 2021, MARTA, Morgan Stanley and its partner, National Equity Fund (NEF) launched the Greater Atlanta Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Preservation Fund to boost MARTA’s affordable housing effort as part of its transit-oriented development (TOD) program. The partnership supports long-term preservation of affordable housing near MARTA rail stations by incentivizing and providing gap funding for owners of affordable housing. The Fund closed on its first transaction in December of last year to preserve 201 units near West End Station in the City of Atlanta.
“We are thrilled to see the benefits of this program preserving affordable units in South DeKalb along our transit service and near our planned South DeKalb Transit Hub,” said MARTA Interim General Manager and CEO Collie Greenwood. “This transaction demonstrates how complementary this effort is to our ground up TOD development program. We thank our partners at Morgan Stanley and the National Equity Fund for supporting the affordable housing goals of our jurisdictional partners and of MARTA.”
“Our partnership with Morgan Stanley continues to bring our shared mission and values to life by delivering innovative, collaborative financial solutions to expand the creation and preservation of affordable housing,” said Matt Reilein, president & CEO of National Equity Fund. “Now, the residents of the 204 housing units in Orchard Walk can keep their affordable housing for the long-term, ensuring a safe and stable future.”
Morgan Stanley Community Development Finance committed $100 million through NEF to assist regional partners in preserving transit-oriented, affordable, multi-family housing at risk of the following: market-rate conversion or financial/physical distress; expiring Federal LIHTC and U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-funded affordable housing including properties at, or near, the end of the LIHTC compliance period; or properties with or without rental subsidies.
Over the past 12 months, MARTA has preserved or built 913 homes, 519 of which are affordable units. The Fund is now 48 percent invested, with a remaining $52 million available.