A project to build a second phase of senior apartments, many of them to be rented at rates based on the tenant's income, has been approved for Missouri state tax credits to reimburse some development costs.

The Memorial Hills II project is planned by Parker Development adjacent to Memorial Hills I located at 1712 W. 26th St., according to documents on file with the Missouri Housing Development Commission.

Tax credits that will generate more than $9.3 million in capital toward development costs of the project over 10 years was awarded to the project, according to Brian Vollenweider, public information administrator for the commission.

Vollenweider said investors provide upfront capital to build or rehabilitate an apartment building to the developer. In exchange for that upfront investment, the investors receive an annual redeemable tax credit for 10 years, and the developer's construction costs are largely reimbursed after construction is complete.

According to commission documents, the project involves construction of a three-story building with elevator that will provide 54 two-bedroom apartments for seniors 55 and older. Of those, 48 of the apartments will be available at a rental rate of $212 to $685, based on tenant income, and six at market rates that would be $800 per month.

Reduced rental rates are set according to a percentage of the median income.

Land for Memorial Hills II would be obtained from the city's post-tornado land bank, the Joplin Redevelopment Corp.

"The Memorial Hills II multifamily housing project is proposed to be constructed on the remaining property owned by the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. located between the new Aldi’s and the existing Memorial Hills apartment complex," said Troy Bolander, the city's planning and development director. "The developer currently has an option on the property. Memorial Hills II is a separate project and was not part of the original Memorial Hills (land) transaction."

The Parker company bought land from the JRC for Memorial Hills I at a cost of $400,000.

Asked if there is a need for more senior housing in Joplin, Bolander said: "There is currently a demand for affordable senior housing in Joplin. Several affordable senior housing projects were built after the tornado, but that was to address an immediate need created by the tornado.

"The baby boomer generation continues to age, which creates a need for additional affordable senior housing. Plus, Joplin is an attraction for retirees due to our great medical facilities and amenities that may not be offered in smaller communities."

Missouri Housing Development Commission documents state that there has been a waiting list for apartments at Memorial Hills I since it opened two years ago in January 2019.That phase also received state tax credits in order to assist in providing affordable housing. It cost $9.4 million. Development costs of the second phase are projected at $10.8 million.

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