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Construction Set To Begin On Phase Three Of River West


Supported by Choice Neighborhood Grant, Tulsa’s Redevelopment of Eugene Field Reaches Latest Milestone

TULSA, Okla. (June 16)-- The ongoing transformation of Riverview Park reached another significant milestone on June 4, 2021, when the City of Tulsa,  the Housing Authority, and their private sector partner, The Michaels Organization, achieved a financial closing for Phase 3 of the comprehensive six-phase redevelopment of the obsolete public housing community located just west of the Arkansas River in Tulsa.

“THA, in partnership with Michaels, are excited to continue the transformation of the Eugene Field community. Phase three is evidence of THA’s continued commitment to revitalize this area,” said Aaron Darden, THA president & CEO. “This progress would not be possible without the continued support of the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Oklahoma Housing and Finance Agency, and the City of Tulsa. As we look to 2021, we are eager to press on with the start of construction for phase four.”

The closing means construction is now poised to start on the $20 million Phase 3, which will feature 76 apartment homes in contemporary energy-efficient garden-style buildings, providing family mixed-income housing for residents.  Amenities include in unit Washer, Dryer, and Energy Star rated appliances including Dishwashers; the units are Enterprise Green Communities certified.  All units will have access to the management/leasing office, community space which includes the following resident amenities:  fitness center, community room, business center and pool.  Phase 3 has a standalone storm shelter for residents.

The start of Phase 3 follows the successful grand opening of the first phase in March 2021.  With the second phase nearing completion of the first buildings in September 2021, the start of Phase 3 marks the mid-way point for the massive neighborhood redevelopment, which benefited from a Choice Neighborhoods grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa (THA) and the City of Tulsa were awarded a $30 million CNI grant in 2017 by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to launch the transformation of the Eugene Field neighborhood into River West, a mixed-income community.  The Choice Tulsa Transformation Plan includes the construction of up to 435 mixed-income apartments, a renovated West Tulsa Park, and extensive public infrastructure and stormwater improvements.  Project totals are estimated at more than $200 million, representing Tulsa’s largest investment in affordable housing to date.

“It is a privilege to work in partnership with this great city and the Housing Authority to translate their vision for this neighborhood into reality,” said Vice President of Michaels Development James Weglarz, and the lead developer on Phase 3.

In addition to the Housing Authority and Michaels Development, other members of the development team include the Tulsa-based Architect KSQ Design and General Contractor, Key Construction. Michaels Management will provide property management services and ensure the community remains a long-term neighborhood asset.

The CNI grant ensures progress will continue for both the Riverview West community and the wider neighborhood, by enabling the city and the Housing Authority to leverage significant additional public and private dollars to support the locally driven strategies driving the comprehensive approach to the neighborhood transformation.

When fully complete, the six phases will provide approximately 435 units of housing, of which 229 will be replacement housing for former residents at Riverview Park and the former Bright Waters Section 8 community, plus housing for families at or below 60% AMI and market rate units to create a truly mixed-income community known as River West. The CNI grant is also supporting the creation of a new public park and grocery store within the neighborhood.

Along with the CNI grant, the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation has committed $12 million affordable grant and the George Kaiser Family Foundation has provided a $3.25 million grant towards the project.  The City of Tulsa has committed $26 million in infrastructure improvements and storm water improvements.  Across all phases, the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) has established a Choice Neighborhood set aside, providing 9 percent low-income housing tax credit funding (LIHTC), the largest tax credit award in the agency’s history.

RBC Capital Markets serves as the investor for Phase 3 providing $9.2MM in tax credit equity from the 9% LIHTC award from OHFA with Regent Bank providing an $11.65MM construction loan and Berkadia Commercial Mortgage facilitating a $5.125MM Freddie Mac Forward permanent mortgage.

About Choice Neighborhoods
A program of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Choice Neighborhoods leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally-driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. The program helps communities transform neighborhoods by revitalizing severely distressed public and/or assisted housing and catalyzing critical improvements in the neighborhood, including vacant property, housing, businesses, services and schools.

About Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa
The Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa (THA) is creating a better Tulsa by transforming lives and communities. THA has been serving the community since 1967, providing affordable housing solutions for Tulsa’s most vulnerable populations. THA owns and manages 13 communities, offers four Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance communities and manages the Housing Choice Voucher program. THA serves more than 20,000 Tulsans, providing affordable housing options in tandem with connection to supportive services to help all Tulsans thrive.

About the Michaels Organization: The Michaels Organization is a national leader in residential real estate offering full-service capabilities in development, property management, construction, and finance. Serving 145,000 residents in more than 400 communities nationwide, Michaels is committed to crafting housing solutions that jumpstart education, civic engagement and neighborhood prosperity and to creating Communities That Lift Lives. 

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