Macon redevelopment effort receives another boost

Tax credits awarded for Phase III of Tindall Heights redevelopment, which will include multi-family housing

Macon Housing Authority executive director Mike Austin shows off Phase I--Tindall Senior Towers--as he announces tax credits have been awarded for Phase III.
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Macon Housing Authority executive director Mike Austin shows off Phase I--Tindall Senior Towers--as he announces tax credits have been awarded for Phase III.

A major redevelopment effort on the former site of Macon-Bibb County’s oldest public housing complex is continuing to make progress.

Another round of housing tax credits has been awarded for the Tindall Fields project, this time for the third phase that will have 65 new multifamily housing units. The Department of Community Affairs announced Monday that $23.2 million worth of federal housing tax credits were awarded for projects across the state such as Tindall Fields.

The development is being built at the southern edge of Mercer University near Little Richard Penniman Boulevard. Tindall Fields phase three received $876,000 in tax credits.

Once the four-phase project is finished over the next several years, the housing density will drop from 412 units at the Tindall Heights complex to 270 units. The Tindall Heights complex was built in 1940 and had become obsolete by the time it was demolished in May 2016.

Tindall Fields is being led by the Macon-Bibb County Housing Authority and its nonprofit arm In-Fill Housing.

Throughout Georgia, tax credits have helped finance more than 150,000 homes, supported over 170,000 jobs and generated $6.4 billion in tax revenue, according to the Department of Community Affairs.

“Tax credits allow big investors to come in and help us leverage the money we need to build the property and house folks that need the (housing),” said Mike Austin, executive director of the Macon-Bibb County Housing Authority. “Public housing ... really hasn’t been built new in the U.S. since the 1990s. Over time, the housing stock, through attrition, demolitions and age, has dwindled considerably.

“Really, one of the only tools to build affordable housing is tax credits,” Austin added. “The Macon Housing Authority has tried to take advantage of that. We’re always looking for other tools to make sure people who need affordable housing have access to great affordable housing.”

Construction on Tindall Senior Towers — two midrise towers with a total of 76 units for seniors — is on track to be finished by about March 2018. Construction on the second phase 64 unit family housing should begin about the same time the senior towers construction is winding down, Austin said.

The goal is to have construction begin on the third phase in late 2018. A final phase with another 65 units would follow that.

There’s some interest from previous investors about also being involved in Tindall’s third phase. One of the remaining challenges is dealing with rising construction costs, said Anthony Hayes, president and CEO of In-Fill Housing.

“At this point what we’ll do is continue working with BTBB Architects and finalize the plans, and get a contractor to start construction,” he said.

Tindall Fields phase three received the highest score from the Department of Community Affairs for its category. Part of that was due to the transformational community component focusing on educational and job opportunities, health care and transportation, Austin said.

A bevvy of community agencies and educational institutions such as the United Way of Central Georgia, Mercer University, Bibb County school district and MidSouth Community Federal Credit Union are part of that collaborative effort.

The Tindall development is located near the major Second Street corridor road project that connects Mercer University with downtown Macon and other areas.

There also are plans for 8.5 acres of commercial development near Tindall Fields.

“We’re just super proud of everybody involved and look forward to this new era of really high quality housing for the community,” Austin said.“We feel like this will bridge the community and will do a lot to transform the entire community.”

Stanley Dunlap: 478-744-4623, @stan_telegraph