Tuesday, 10 November 2020 22:10

Rockingham affordable housing complex to get facelift

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Eric Pristell, Attorney representing Burlington Housing Authority explains renovation plans to Rockingham City Council Eric Pristell, Attorney representing Burlington Housing Authority explains renovation plans to Rockingham City Council Chuck Thames - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Crown Pointe Apartments on Cauthen Drive in Rockingham was recently purchased by the affordable housing developer Vitus Group of Seattle, Washington, and is expected to undergo major renovations of approximately $45,000 per unit.  

There are 50 affordable housing units in the Crown Pointe complex and the Vitus Group was recently awarded low-income tax credits from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency of $2,694,210 with a bond capacity not to exceed $4,650,000. This money will be used to finance the acquisition and rehabilitation of the facility, according to Eric Pristell, an attorney representing Burlington Housing Authority..  

Plans include substantial renovations to both inside and outside of the structures including kitchen and bathroom remodeling, new flooring, LED light fixtures, HVAC systems, water heaters, siding and roofing. Current plans include closing the deal before the end of 2020 with construction expected to commence in January/February 2021. The timeline for completion is anticipated to be approximately 18 months.  

Vitus Group purchased a total of eight apartment complexes in North Carolina this year in seven cities including Asheboro, Burlington, Goldsboro, Greenville, Louisburg, Smithfield and Rockingham. A total of (not to exceed) $53,500,000 in bonds will be issued by the Burlington Housing Authority for the purchase and renovation of these eight locations. 

“There will be no liability for the housing authority or the city of Rockingham” associated with this project, Pristell said. “No permanent displacement of residents is anticipated during the renovation process.”

City council also heard from John Massey, Assistant City Manager, on efforts to revise the city’s Unified Development Ordinance. 

Massey indicated this work was required due to Senate Bill 355 (referred to as Chapter 160D) adopted in 2019. 

This is the first major recodification and modernization of state development regulations since 1905. 

“I have spent a year working on this; I have done the very best I can but I’m not going to tell you I have caught  everything (changes),” Massey said, noting that there would likely be situations that would come up as the new UDO is used that would require additional changes to be made to the local ordinance.  

The complete draft Unified Development Ordinance is now available and can be reviewed and downloaded from the city’s website https://gorockingham.net/planning-documents.  

Council voted to set a public hearing for the December meeting at which time the public will be invited to make comments about the proposed changes.