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Developer pushes affordable housing in area of Raleigh that lacks it

Developer pushes affordable housing in area of Raleigh that lacks it

Affordable housing could be coming next door to a shopping mall in Northwest Raleigh as a Minnesota developer looks to rezone 16 acres.

Oppidan Investment Company has filed a new rezoning request for 13120 Strickland Road, located next to the Leesville Towne Center just south of Interstate 540 at Strickland and Leesville roads. The rezoning would allow for increased residential density.

Noah Wagner with Oppidan said the company would most likely develop around 150 apartments with a mix of one, two and three bedrooms. The apartments would be for residents making between 30 and 70 percent of the area’s median income.

The company expects to have the property rezoned by the end of the year with construction starting in fall 2024. Plans call for the apartments to be open and available for rent in summer 2026.

Wagner said the project would cost approximately $50 million and that funding would come from a combination of tax exempt bonds, low-income housing tax credits, gap financing loans, debt and equity.

On the application, the company is offering zoning conditions such as making the apartments available for 80 percent or less of the area’s median income for at least 30 years and adding pedestrian access to the shopping center.

The lack of affordable housing is a key issue in the Triangle as housing becomes more unattainable.

“It is no secret that this area of North Raleigh does not have a large supply of affordable housing, especially recently built,” Wagner said in an email. “We saw an opportunity to develop a housing project in parallel with the city’s goals to construct affordable housing that affirmatively furthers fair housing choice for all residents and avoids further concentrations of affordable housing in other areas.”

The site is in the Falls Watershed, which means the developers must ensure 40 percent of the mostly wooded property remains forested. The property is 16.25 acres and is assessed at $806,000. An individual currently owns the property.

Raleigh City Council member Christina Jones for District E said she is 100 percent committed to getting the project done.

"I recognize that we need to be a better partner in regard to the availability of affordable housing. When I learned of the project, I jumped at the opportunity to bring more residents to our area,” Jones said in an email.

Oppidan is also developing affordable housing in Southeast Raleigh. The company also recently filed site plans for apartments near Fenton in Cary.

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