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Y Gardens is designed as a low-income housing project with 41 units and commercial space.
SBJ photo by Kathryn Hardison
Y Gardens is designed as a low-income housing project with 41 units and commercial space.

Mixed-use housing project underway near OTC

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Walls are up for a $6.7 million housing complex near Ozarks Technical Community College at the corner of Chestnut Expressway and National Avenue.

The 41-unit complex, dubbed Y Gardens, is targeted toward people who earn up to 60% of Springfield’s median income and those exiting the foster care system. Springfield’s median income in 2018 was nearly $35,700, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

It’s a collaborative project by Creason Development LLC, Family Life Community Services, Footsteps Transitional Living and other local nonprofits, said Tammi Creason, owner of Creason Development. It’s slated for completion by August.

“The biggest obstacle that a lot of service providers find is that they can’t keep the people who've grown up in foster care connected – to be able to keep them in the program, help with soft skills and career counseling,” Creason said, adding about 10 units will be reserved for people transitioning out of foster care.

Plans call for 2,000 square feet of office and community space for the nonprofits to be accessed by former foster kids for counseling, job training and other social services. There also will be 2,000 square feet of commercial space that fronts Chestnut Expressway. Creason said no tenants have signed on for the commercial space. The project in total is over 37,000 square feet.

Creason said the one- and two-bedroom apartments will range in monthly rent from $425 to $725, depending on annual income and the number of occupants.

“We want to offer a cool, trendy space at a rental rate that’s more affordable to the person making $10-$12 an hour,” Creason said. “There’s a lot of options in downtown that just aren’t accessible to the ordinary person.”

The project is financed by the low-income housing tax credit program through the Missouri Housing Development Commission and various city of Springfield loan programs, Creason said. She also cited a loan with Arvest Bank, which has a branch next to the developing complex, for construction financing.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development vouchers and city of Springfield scholarships will be available to former foster kids, Creason said. The residents also will have access to career counseling from the city, she said.

Jonesboro, Arkansas-based Olympus Construction Inc. was hired as general contractor, and the project architect is Kansas City-based Stark Wilson Duncan Architects Inc.

Creason has developed affordable housing in Missouri and surrounding states for 23 years through previous employers and partnerships, she said. She's also co-owner of DHTC Development LLC, which she said recently finished affordable housing projects in Conway and Little Rock, Arkansas, and in Miami, Oklahoma. The group is also working on constructing a senior affordable housing community in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, she said.

Y Gardens is the first project under Creason Development.

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