A proposed housing development recently hit a roadblock in Fort Oglethorpe as the City Council chose to not approve a rezoning request for development property.
During the City Council meeting on May 14, the board listened to plans from Len Reeves of the Mississippi-based Ridgewood Consulting LLC, who explained the firm’s plan to help facilitate financing to bring an apartment complex to Dietz Road.
“My partners and I develop high-quality affordable housing across the Southeast,” Reeves said. “We have developments in Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, and are looking to expand into Georgia and Louisiana.”
The proposed property is located at 1565 Dietz Road off Battlefield Parkway, and the request was from rezoning from C-2 commercial to R-5 residential. .
“We are asking to have it rezoned to R-5 to allow for multi-family development,” Reeves said. “… We built ultra-high-quality affordable housing. People hear that word ‘affordable’ and often times they don’t know exactly what that means because affordable is a relative term. What’s affordable to you is different from what’s affordable to me.”
Reeves explained that his firm works to secure tax credits and then sells them to potential investors who then finance developments.
“We compete for tax credits through the Department of Community Affairs, which is the state agency for Georgia that allocates these tax credits,” Reeves said. “It’s a highly-competitive process, and what we build is new construction only, non-subsidized rents. We sell them to investors who represent companies like Amazon or Google, companies that have enormous tax liabilities. They buy-in to our fund, and then we take their dollars and pay a guy on a bulldozer to build our sites. That’s what we are. We are strictly new construction developers using tax credits for construction purposes, not subsidies for operations purposes.”
The proposal included a two-story, 64-unit garden-style apartment complex with a combination of brick and hardy board siding.
Reeves presented display boards showing what the development could look like and showcased some of the company’s recent developments.
“The program requires a certain kind of quality, and it’s what we like to build because we’re going to have it for a very long time,” Reeves said.
Ultimately, the pitch didn’t convince the council, as the rezoning request failed for lack of a motion, never even going to a vote.
Reeves and other persons involved with the project left the meeting shortly after the request failed.