Jul 9, 2021 - Real Estate

6 Des Moines apartment projects under review for state tax credits

The exterior of the former French Way Cleaners building in Des Moines.

The former French Way Cleaners building at 413 Euclid Ave. Photo courtesy of the Polk County Assessor

Roughly 370 new apartments could be coming to Des Moines if six proposals get approved under a state tax credit program later this year.

Driving the news: The city last week endorsed the projects totaling more than $60 million in construction costs.

Why it matters: The proposals would add more affordable housing options for entry-level workers, students, seniors, people with disabilities and families.

  • Iowa needs to build nearly 11K homes for low-income families by 2030, according to a recent projection from the Iowa Finance Authority.

How it works: The state-administered Workforce Housing Tax Credits focus on projects that restore abandoned or dilapidated properties at brownfield or grayfield sites. They're also used for new construction in communities with demonstrated housing needs.

  • Developers would get about $3.3 million in tax benefits if each DSM project is approved.
  • The city would allocate at least $1,000 in assistance per unit as part of the program's local match requirement.

Yes, but: Expect lots of competition.

  • Large city applications — those located in Iowa's most populated 11 counties are being accepted for the program for the first time since 2018.
  • There's $28 million available for DSM's category, but $13.3 million is reserved for projects already on a waitlist.

The proposals:

  • 413 Euclid Avenue (the former French Way Cleaners building): A nearly $3.4 million rehab that includes four upper-floor housing units.

What's next: The application deadline is July 19. Awards will be announced in coming months.


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