HARLINGEN — Potential developers who want to renovate the Baxter Building need another chance. The city’s going to give it to them.
At this time it appears MRE Capital, the developer behind the $4.5 million project to turn the building largely into a low-income apartment development, might not land federal tax credits to help fund the project.
So the company plans to resubmit its application next year to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
In the meantime, officials believe the agency will revise criteria to boost the developer’s chances to obtain the tax credits.
Monday, city commissioners voted to grant MRE Capital a 12-month extension on its contract to allow the developer to resubmit its application.
Daniel Sailler, a developer with the Kansas City, Mo., company, did not respond to a message requesting comment.
But, so far, the company has spent “tens of thousands of dollars” on the project, Mayor Chris Boswell said yesterday.
“This company is serious about the building,” Boswell said. “They have made a significant investment so far. I think that’s significant.”
The developers likely will have to wait until about the beginning of 2017 to submit their second application, said Gordon Anderson, a spokesman for the agency in Austin.
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MRE Capital has applied for tax credits to help fund the renovation of the Baxter Building into a 24-unit apartment development that would include 19 low-income units.
The developers plan to offer two low-income units to residents with household incomes of $15,720 for families of four; four units to residents with household incomes of $26,200; and 13 units to residents with household incomes of $31,440.
The remaining apartments would either be rented at market rate or offered to residents with household incomes of $31,440 for families of four.
The developer would offer six one-bedroom apartments and seven two-bedroom apartments to residents with household incomes of $31,440.
An architectural sketch shows the development of 13 one-bedroom apartments and 11 two-bedroom apartments would offer 26 parking spaces along South A Street and West Jackson Avenue.
But Boswell said the city owns a large parking lot between Harrison and Van Buren avenues, about a block away from the building. MRE Capital is applying for what are known as “competitive 9-percent housing tax credits,” according to a city resolution included in the application.