Construction is just beginning on Junegrass Place, the ninth project on which we’ve partnered with GMD Development. Located in the heart of Kalispell, it will provide 138 rental homes people can afford. Households earning 60% or less of the area median income will be eligible to lease these apartments. A household of three people can earn up to $42,900 annual gross income and qualify to live at Junegrass.
Junegrass will provide a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes. It will have seven three-story walk-up garden-style apartment buildings. All the homes have either a private deck or patio. Each home will have a washer and dryer or washer/dryer hook-ups and dishwashers. Parking is provided on site, along with bicycle parking areas at each building.
The community building will have a large community room available for residents to use for larger gatherings or parties and there will be a play area adjacent to the building.
Junegrass’ common area utilities will be supported by a solar photovoltaic and solar hot water systems. Sheltered landscaped areas between buildings will provide quiet small spaces for gathering or enjoying the outdoors. A large undeveloped hillside area below the highway will provide natural spaces for residents to explore.
Traditionally, Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) developments have used either 9% credits or 4% tax credits for funding, not both. This was because the tax-exempt bonds that come with 4% credits are prohibited from being used with 9% credits.
At Junegrass, however, similar to Starner Gardens completed in Billings in 2020, we and GMD were able to use both credit types by splitting what appears to the general public as one development into two separate developments. One 24-apartment building represents the 9% portion and the rest the 4% portion. This adds layers of legal nuances involving cross-easements and shared use agreements that leverage the 9% credits for a more significant impact on Kalispell’s great need for homes people can afford to rent.
Junegrass is funded by WNC Inc.’s equity from the purchase of Housing Tax Credits allocated by Montana Housing of the Montana Department of Commerce, WNC’s equity from the purchase of Federal Investment Tax Credits (for solar), a Housing Montana Fund loan from Montana Housing and a mortgage provided by Glacier Bank, along with the sale of the private placement tax-exempt bonds issued by the Montana Board of Housing. Glacier Bank is also providing the construction financing. Intrinsik Architecture leads the architecture and engineering team that produced the design and construction documents, and Rotherham Construction is constructing the project.
Julie Stiteler for Homeword’s Development Team