FORT WORTH — The Fort Worth Housing Finance Corp. approved a $1.3 million loan Tuesday for the development of a 140-unit apartment community in Renaissance Square in southeast Fort Worth.Atlanta-based Columbia Residential, which builds family- and senior-oriented apartment communities, is planning the $20 million, mixed-income development to go in just west of Uplift Academy in Renaissance Square. Renaissance Square is a 67-acre development between Mitchell Boulevard and Wichita Street west of U.S. 287 and south of Berry Street, in the city’s Mason Heights neighborhood.In February, the City Council approved $1.2 million of project funding from the city’s federally funded HOME grant and agreed to support the project application for housing tax credits through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Rod Teachey, vice president of development at Columbia, said the company won’t know until June or July whether it will be awarded the tax credits. If approved, construction would begin in early 2015, he said.The five-year loan from the Housing Finance Corp. carries a 1 percent interest rate and would be awarded only if the project receives the state tax credits.Teachey said the company was attracted to the site because of the strong local economy, demand for affordable housing, job growth, and the thriving shops and restaurants at Renaissance Square. Development of Renaissance Square began in 2009, and a Wal-Mart Supercenter opened in January 2013.“It’s a great site,” Teachey said. The apartment project is planned to have 28 market-rate apartments and 112 affordable units. Amenities include a clubhouse with community room, computer lab and business center, fitness center, library and a 2-acre park.“I am so excited for this to come to District 8 and the city,” said Councilwoman Gyna Bivens, who represents the adjacent District 5. Columbia Residential, founded in 1991, has projects in Georgia and Louisiana, and one each in Dallas and Houston, according to its website.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST