CRA Grants $325,000 to Student Housing Projects

CRA Grants $325,000 to Student Housing Projects

Even though members of the Community Redevelopment Agency had previously indicated they would not fund any more student housing projects, the members voted 6-1 at their last meeting to give grants totaling $325,000 to two student housing projects.

Grants are monies that do not have to be repaid.

Roxanne Manning, director of the CRA, told elected officials that the local nature of the projects makes them different than the previously funded multi-million dollar student housing projects.

Leon County Commissioner Kristen Dozier, noting the previous comments to not fund future student housing projects, said “I love these two projects.”

Dozier noted the projects are redevelopment and on a smaller scale in areas that will benefit from new investment.

City Commissioner Scott Maddox voted against the grants based on his longstanding belief that “CRA funds should be used for infrastructure and not for the interior of privately owned projects.”

Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox voted for the grants and said that he was moved by the the local ownership and the fact that the projects are located in “communities of blight that have people of color.”

Project details are listed below.

Gamble Street

The project on 712 Gamble Street, which is being developed by Rhettro Development LLC, was approved for a $275,000 grant.

Public records show that the development company purchased the property for approximately $45,000.

Phase 1 of the development which will include the construction of seven (7) three-story, four-bedroom, four-bathroom student apartments with on-site parking.  The units will have granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances, wood plank style flooring, and washers and dryers.  The anticipated rental rates are $700 per bedroom per month, and will include utilities.

Phase 1 of the development is projected to cost $1,601,804.  Assuming the project has a post-development value of $1.7 million and an annual increase in taxable value of 1.5 to 3.0 percent over the life of the CRA District, it will take between 14 and 18 years before the tax increment generated by the new development exceeds the CRA grant investment.

Wailes Street

Greenleaf, a locally-owned real estate holding company, purchased 710 Wailes Street in January 2017. At the time of the purchase, the property was in foreclosure, had been vacant and abandoned for several years and was in a significant state of disrepair/deterioration.

The CRA approved a $75,000 grant.

Greenleaf is in the process of conducting major exterior and interior renovations to the two on-site structures. The developer intends to market the rental units to college students, with an emphasis on older students, graduate students and/or married students.

All the units will be renovated and will have granite counter-tops, stainless steel energy efficient appliances, new flooring, and washers and dryers. The on-site parking area will be resurfaced and the landscaping improved. The anticipated rental rates are $675 per bedroom per month for the two bedroom units and $700 per month for the one bedroom, stand-alone apartment.

With an annual taxable value increase of 3.0 percent, the return to the CRA would be $72,912 in FY 2038 (the final year of the CRA District), which is only $2,088 less than the $75,000 grant investment and is an amount that could easily be captured with minor taxable value increases.

With an annual taxable value increase of 5.0 percent the CRA would realize a full return of its investment in FY 2036, with an additional $16,772 returned to GFS District by FY 2038.

13 Responses to "CRA Grants $325,000 to Student Housing Projects"

  1. News Maven   May 28, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Landlords having their tax money redistributed to competition is repugnant.
    And did anyone ask Dozier if Mad Dog is involved in either of these?
    Abolish the CRA now.

    Reply
    • Snidely Whiplash   May 28, 2018 at 7:39 pm

      Somebody’s getting an inappropriate benefit on the taxpayer’s dime here in this about face of previous stated direction regarding this matter. Could be funneled thru Mad Dog.

      Reply
    • Mike   June 2, 2018 at 8:00 am

      CRA = Commissioner’s Redistribution Account.

      Reply
  2. David Grymonpre   May 28, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    If our politicians wanted to support folks in “communities of blight that have people of color”, shouldn’t they support the poor people that are displaced by housing like this? These are mid to high rent housing that will have bill payers taking care of them and should never get free money from the city. The folks that used to live in the area are priced out and have to go somewhere else. They are the ones who need support.

    Reply
  3. Shannon Sullivan   May 28, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    The CRA 1. Believes they are Invisible and no one will notice. 2. Figures the FBI is to busy with OTHER corruption in Tallahassee 3. Just don’t give a damn.

    Reply
  4. Vernon   May 28, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Do not be surpised if Rhettro and/or Greenleaf have principles with names we know in local politics or a trail leading back to them.

    Nick Maddox was “moved” by the local ownership with the projects located in communities of blight with people of color. What a croc…how many of those people in the “blighted community” does Mr Maddox think can pay $1350. a month for rent? …and what difference does it make if they’re people of color in the neighborhood if these units will be rented as student housing? Now Ms Dozier does an about face and lied…that she would not vote for another student housing project, but now “she loves these two projects”? The CRA is just a vehicle to justify local corruption. Dont forget they are giving away taxpayers money!

    After Ms Lindley done an about face and voted to form a new Child Services Program with taxing authority no less …that makes 2 of our female commissioners that has said one thing and done the opposite this month!! Is there not ANYONE representing Tallahassee anymore? Regardless of what conventional wisdom would have us believe, women are no better at publix service than men…at least in Tallahassee anyway!

    Reply
  5. Hope   May 29, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Per Sunbiz.org – FL Division of Corporations –

    1) Rhettro Development, LLC

    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F – Registered Agent
    TURNQUEST, RHETT

    Officer/RA Name Entity Name Entity Number
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON DISC VILLAGE, INC. 726722
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON LIVLINC LLC. L14000087316
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON ARYA CAPITAL LLC L16000198332
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON CAPITAL CITY EVENTS LLC L17000069704
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON CLAYTONKNOWLESQ, LLC L18000083675
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F REGAL HOMES L. L. C. L07000036411
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F FORD|CURTIS, LLC L08000117360
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F FORD|CURTIS, LLC L08000117360
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F ABSTRACT MUSIC GROUP LLC L13000018481
    KNOWLES,F,CLAYTON TACO REPUBLIK TALLAHASSEE MIDTOWN LLC L13000130647
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F ENZO NC LLC L14000127872
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F GAINES STREET LIQUORS LLC L15000108127
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F ARYA P INVESTMENTS, LLC L15000146488
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F KELVAN INVESTMENT GROUP, LLC L15000187411
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F RHETTRO DEVELOPMENT, LLC L16000221856
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F RENT WITH REGAL LLC L17000137159
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F CLAYTONKNOWLESQ, LLC L18000083675
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F SOUTHERN STYLE GROUP, INC. P15000043623
    KNOWLES, CLAYTON F ESQUIRE PENROD GROUP, INC. P1500

    2) Greenleaf Twin, LLC

    RAYBOUN MULLIGAN, PLLC

    ROLAND, LINCOLN

    Officer/RA Name Entity Name Entity Number
    RAYBOUN MULLIGAN, PLLC PORTLAND TOWNHOMES, LLC L12000042159
    RAYBOUN MULLIGAN, PLLC PORTLAND TOWNHOMES, LLC L12000042159
    RAYBOUN MULLIGAN, PLLC SUNNYSIDE EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES, LLC
    RAYBOUN MULLIGAN, PLLC FLORIDA ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF

    RAYBOUN MULLIGAN, PLLC MEDICAL MARIJUANA, LLC L14000105194
    RAYBOUN MULLIGAN, PLLC GREENLEAF TWIN, LLC

    **Both entities have numerous linked corporations that perhaps will yield numerous campaign contributions. Pay to play and decisions based on the ability for the recipients to provide campaign funding to the obliging commissioners at the taxpayers expense: Kristen Dozier, Nick Maddox, etc…Watch these campaign treasurers reports.

    Reply
  6. News Maven   May 29, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    A better use of $325,000 of taxpayer money: maintaining city wastewater pumps.
    http://www.wctv.tv/content/news/177000-gallons-of-waste-water-overflows-in-Tallahassee–483977321.html

    Reply
  7. Diana S.   May 29, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    of course people in blighted neighborhoods need granite countertops & stainless steel appliances! And Maddox is only “moved” because it involves “people of color” (so similar to colored people from times back………) Anyway, that right there is RACISM folks, pure & simple. What does it matter what color people are if they live in a blighted community & need help, which by the way this development will NOT help those people at all. Instead it will price them out of their neighborhood to God knows where. Bad enough this agency takes OUR money & hands it to whoever they want (read, friends, cohorts etc.), but they’re only helping businesses make more money. $700/bedroom in a 4/4? Who is going to pay that anyway? BTW wasn’t the CRA supposed to be disbanded??

    Reply
  8. Devil with a pitchfork   May 30, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    I was going to comment but decided somethings you don’t dignify with a response.

    Reply
  9. Intrigued Bystander   June 5, 2018 at 8:25 am

    I realize now that many of you who comment on these articles have no real information upon which to base your rather aggressive rhetoric. I am professionally familiar with the Greenleaf project thus the anonymity of this post. The principals took a building that was subject to condemnation by virtue of its condition (located one block from FAMU) and invested a substantial amount of their own money into its rehabilitation. They are not politically connected, rather they are compassionate individuals who want to aid students in their collegiate endeavors and in fact intend to rebate some portion of rents based on GPA. Appropriately or not granite and stainless steel are the standard in student housing projects now and are essentially required to compete with other projects.

    While there are many projects where the per bed rate is lower, $750 per bed is the current “standard” lease rate and there is some momentum toward $825 – $850. I don’t understand why some of you would condemn developers for their efforts to operate their projects profitably. I assume you either do the same with your own businesses or are grateful that the company with which you are employed does so so they can pay your salary.

    Regarding the “numerous entities” comment, again it is obvious that you have no understanding of corporate structure. Rayboun Mulligan is the registered agent for the Greenleaf entity. It is a law firm that creates and files the paperwork for its clients to establish the LLC and therefore of course as their registered agent would be “linked to” numerous corporate entities on Sunbiz. The same may be true for Knowles, also a law firm, although I am not familiar with that firm as I am with Rayboun Mulligan.

    As a note, Greenleaf has no relationship with Mad Dog.

    I am concerned about political and financial misdeeds committed by those charged with the responsibility of governance. The seemingly arrogant disregard for ethical decision making angers and frustrates me. But it is not appropriate to cast dispersion when you have not availed yourself of the facts. Doing so only infers a lack of credibility with respect to the opinions and comments you offer.

    I suspect you may be inclined to offer some negative response to this post and perhaps even attack me personally. You should save your energy for something positive. You don’t know me therefore you are not positioned to judge. What is more relevant is that in this case, I do have all the facts so I am qualified to comment.

    Reply

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