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Kirkley Apartments, Rosedale, Virginian projects on Lynchburg City Council agenda

A new development proposed for Graves Mill Road would have a mixture of commercial and residential properties.

The developer of the Kirkley Apartments, a 156-unit development to be built behind the Kirkley Hotel, is asking Lynchburg City Council to approve a measure to help the project qualify for financing from the Virginia Housing Development Authority.

The apartment units, proposed for seven buildings at 5212 Woodall Road, include a clubhouse and swimming pool. Council approved a conditional use permit for the project in April 2013 and re-approved it in May 2014 after a deadline lapsed in city code procedures to move the plans along.

The planned apartments are not in a qualified census tract or a revitalization district so the developer needs City Council to approve a resolution so it can qualify for VHDA funding, according to a Feb. 23 letter from developer WVS Companies to City Manager Kimball Payne.

The loan program WVS Companies is applying for has a rent restriction requiring at least 20 percent – 32 of the 156 units – to renters making less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income, or less than $48,400.

“This income level is still a fairly respectable income level for Lynchburg and is by no means considered low income,” wrote Richard Souter, of WVS, in the letter. “Given the relatively moderate income level of $48,400, we could legitimately expect to rent quite a lot more than only 20 percent of units to people who would meet the required income restriction level.”

The project is considered “mixed income” but is not to be confused with low income Section 8 housing and is in no way associated with low-income housing tax credits, the letter states.

In January, Council adopted a fair housing plan that recommends the city should seek to strike a balance between revitalizing older neighborhoods and creating new affordable housing opportunities in other city neighborhoods as well as incentivizing creation of affordable housing in “higher opportunity” areas. The plan to have at least 20 percent of units go to renters making less than 80 percent of the Lynchburg area’s median income is in keeping with that goal, according to the city.

Also tonight, Council will hold a public hearing on a request from Rosedale Farm LLC to rezone nearly 27 acres at 1600 Graves Mill Road and grant a conditional use permit to allow construction of at least 20 townhomes, 45 condominiums, 50 apartments and 100,000 square feet of office space.

Council also will consider action to negotiate the final terms and execution of a performance agreement between the city, the Lynchburg Economic Development Authority and Virginian Hotel LLC to redevelop the property at 712 Church Street known as the Virginian into a hotel and conference center.

Developers Blair Godsey and George Stanley have created a $25 million proposal to purchase the property and reopen the building in 2017 as a hotel attraction. They are asking the economic development authority for a $5 million “gap financing” loan. The money would be paid back through tax revenues the project is anticipated to generate.

Tonight’s meeting takes place in Council chambers at City Hall, 900 Church Street. To view the agenda, visit www.lynchburgva.gov and click the Departments, City Council links.

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