Columbia Renaissance Phase III Awarded $9 Million in Financing
For Immediate Release
September 18, 2023
City of Fort Worth and Tarrant County Support Final Phase of Affordable Housing Community That Will Deliver Garden-Style Apartment Homes for up to 100 Families in Southeast Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX – Renaissance Heights United, in partnership with Columbia Residential and Purpose Built Communities, is expected to receive $9 million in public financing for the third and final phase of Columbia Renaissance Square, a vibrant, affordable residential community for families and seniors in Southeast Fort Worth, Texas.
Columbia Renaissance Phase III is the third and final phase of Columbia Residential’s affordable housing development within the Renaissance Square Master Plan. This phase will complete the three (3)-phase development of high-quality, mixed-income housing for families and seniors at Renaissance Square. Phase I included 140 units of family housing, completed in 2017, and Phase II included 120 units of senior housing completed in 2020. The proposed third phase includes 100 units of family housing, with 25 units dedicated to households experiencing homelessness. The community will include a mix of incomes, with units set aside for residents with less than 30% of Area Median Family Income (AMI), 50% AMI, 60% AMI, and 80% AMI. Phase III is expected to close at the end of 2024 with construction beginning in early 2025.
Earlier this year, the project faced a $12.2 million gap as a result of rising costs. Over the three phases, construction costs have increased by an average of 85%, construction interest rates have increased by 60%, and federal tax credit pricing has decreased noticeably. As a result, overall development costs have increased by 35% on average. These escalating costs far outpace, and cannot be recovered by, restricted affordable rents. Only substantial financial support can help bridge the gap.
On September 5, the Commissioners Court took action to approve the reallocation of funds to the City of Fort Worth, $3.5 million of which will be awarded to Renaissance Heights for the Columbia Renaissance III development. On Tuesday, September 12, Fort Worth City Council voted to approve $1.5 million in ARPA funding for Renaissance Phase III. This amount is on top of the existing $4 million commitment from the City to the project.
Renaissance Heights United and Columbia Residential are grateful to Tarrant County and the City of Fort Worth for their financial support, including:
- $4 million in City of Fort Worth HOME funds
- $3.5 million from Tarrant County American Rescue Plan Funds
- $1.5 million in City of Fort Worth American Rescue Plan Funds
This tremendous public support from the County and the City reduces the gap tremendously—to $3.2 million. Columbia Residential and Renaissance Heights United are seeking mission-driven partners to assist with filling the remaining gap.
Columbia Renaissance Phase III:
Located at 2801 North Moresby Street in the heart of Fort Worth’s Renaissance Square, this master-planned development is walkable to the neighborhood’s assets, including more than 200,000 feet of retail, Cook Children’s Neighborhood Health Center, UpLift Mighty Charter School—where families would receive priority enrollment—and the YMCA multi-use facility—where families would receive free membership and access to early childhood education.
Phase III includes 100 apartments which are designed to promote energy efficiency, improve indoor air quality, and reduce utility costs with construction certified by National Green Building Standards™. The project includes 35 one-bedroom, 35 two-bedroom, and 30 three-bedroom apartments. 100% of units are dedicated to low-income households, with 25 units dedicated to households experiencing homelessness.
Renaissance Phase III will fit with the architectural style of the surrounding development, continuing the elements of Phases I and II. Phase III will maintain a 3-story height. The development will bring an array of amenities, which are planned to include a community/club room, craft/accessory room, business center, laundry facilities, and landscaped courtyards. The development will provide pedestrian access to the Shoppes of Renaissance, which includes Walmart, a pharmacy, various retail establishments, and restaurants.
The modern, accessible, and spacious apartment homes feature thoughtfully designed interiors that include ENERGY STAR® appliances, carpeted bedrooms with walk-in closets, luxury hardwood-style flooring in the living areas, and ceramic tile in the bathrooms. Convenient onsite amenities include a fitness center, computer center with Wi-Fi, community laundry center, plus a beautifully landscaped gazebo and tree-lined pathways for strolling or bicycling.
“Renaissance Heights United—in partnership with Columbia Residential, Tarrant County and the City of Fort Worth—allows us to provide quality, safe, and modern homes for families residing in the Renaissance Square community,” said Kenny Mosley, Executive Director of Renaissance Heights Foundation. “The discussion often centers around affordable housing, which sometimes gets misinterpreted as solely low-income housing. However, we recognize that everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances, deserves access to affordable housing. Its definition varies across different life stages—apartments, individual units for students and individuals, starter homes for young families, and comfortable residences for our legacy neighbors to call home.”
“Columbia Residential is pleased to work with Renaissance Heights United and the City of Fort Worth to add this important new housing to Renaissance Square,” said Carmen Chubb, president of Columbia Residential. “The great care, working with our many partners, that was put into the financing, design, construction, and property management reflects our commitment to the needs of community residents and to the mission to revitalize this neighborhood.”
Design and construction team:
The total project cost is $34 million. Columbia Residential, in partnership with the Renaissance Heights Foundation, is applying for a construction bond inducement with Tarrant County Housing Financing Corporation. Following inducement, Columbia Residential will apply to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for a 4% Tax Credit allocation.
About Columbia Residential (Columbia Residential Properties, LLC)
Founded in 1991 by the late Noel Khalil, Columbia Residential is an award-winning Atlanta-based developer, owner, and manager of affordable and mixed-income housing. Celebrating its thirty-two-year anniversary, the company is on track to manage 10,000 affordable and mixed-income housing units in Georgia, Texas, Florida, and Louisiana in more than 76 communities by the end of 2023. Columbia Residential makes a lasting commitment to each community it plans, builds, and services by providing a continuum of stewardship that powers long-term investments. The company’s unique approach to property management incorporates an innovative model for resident services, including comprehensive onsite programming along with additional resources provided through strategic partnerships with local entities that foster a strong home life and growth mindset for every resident. For more information, please visit https://www.columbiares.com.
About Renaissance Heights Foundation
Renaissance Heights Foundation (RHF) serves as the lead organization for the Renaissance Heights United (RHU) collaboration which focuses on the holistic revitalization of the Renaissance Heights community in Fort Worth, Texas. Our targeted area is the 206-acre site that was the former home of the Masonic Home and School of Texas (a home for widows and orphans). Renaissance Heights United is a proud network member of Purpose Built Communities and follows the Purpose Built Model. Using this proven neighborhood revitalization model, the partnership works together to ensure that the (1) cradle-to-college education, (2) mixed-income housing, and (3) health and wellness investments made within the Renaissance Heights target area are high-quality, connected, and in support of a common vision. Renaissance Heights Foundation operates as the “community quarterback” aligning our partners and resources from all sectors including the neighbors. We develop and execute the strategy for the overall effort based on the community’s shared vision.
In the area of mixed-income housing, RHU’s goal is to create a total of 375 to 400 units of mixed-income, multi-family housing. To date, 260 units—120 of which are dedicated to seniors—have been completed, with additional single-family homes for sale on the way.
In the area of cradle-to-college education, Uplift Education, a nationally recognized charter school network, has built Uplift Mighty Preparatory—a new K-12 school within our neighborhood—and has quickly established an excellent cradle-to-college pipeline to serve more than 2,000 children with a preference for Renaissance Heights families. Additionally, Morris Foundation Child Development Center, operated by leading provider Childcare Associates, offers early learning that serves infants through pre-K. Also in the neighborhood is the Leadership Academy at Mitchell Boulevard, a pre-K–5 school operated by Ft. Worth Independent School District as part of what’s been called a first-of-its-kind partnership with Texas Wesleyan University, designed to drive academic performance of targeted district schools.
In the area of community wellness, RHU collaborates with several health and wellness partners to facilitate access to high-quality, affordable health and wellness resources for residents. The William M. McDonald YMCA opened in our neighborhood in 2019. Along with state-of-the-art workout facilities, a gym, and space for community programming, it houses the neighborhood’s early learning center and an aquatic center. Cook Children’s Neighborhood Health Center operates pediatric neighborhood health centers in Renaissance. Additionally, the main campus of ACH Child and Family Services is headquartered at Renaissance and provides needed resources and skills to children and families struggling with life’s challenges. Since the construction of a Walmart Supercenter on the Renaissance campus, the area is no longer a food desert.
Discover how you can contribute by visiting renaissanceheights.org—together we can continue to create a place of possibility.
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