Seymour Lofts hosts grand opening

With 50% occupancy and 80% of potential occupants preleased, the newly developed Seymour Lofts at 527 Miller Lane is filling up quickly.

During Tuesday morning’s grand opening, Marisa Conatser, development director for TWG real estate development company, said historically, Indiana has been underserved regarding affordable housing. So when the company had the opportunity to help with this need, she didn’t hesitate.

“I am very grateful to have the opportunity to bring some much-needed affordable housing to the city of Seymour,” she said.

Conatser said the city has been very welcoming over the past three years and has been a great partner.

Seymour Lofts is a 50-unit apartment community with two- and three-bedroom units and is part of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority tax credit program.

According to the Indiana state government website, this program is a federal source of funds and one of the country and state’s most powerful tools for creating new affordable rental housing.

This $10.8 million project will help provide quality, affordable housing for working individuals and families in Seymour.

All units have been created for individuals and households earning between 30 and 60% of the area’s median income.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2021, the area median income for Indiana is $61,944, and Seymour’s area median income is $47,949.

This complex will target individuals and families with an annual salary of $30,000 to $40,000, according to TWG.

Located in Seymour’s Opportunity Zone, a federally designated area targeting low-income areas for development, the property includes many amenities, such as a playground, community gardens, a fitness studio, a clubhouse and a free bike share program.

The complex also offers free in-home Wi-Fi and services provided by Centerstone with information and referrals for local resources.

Twenty-nine of the 50 units are two-bedroom with a range of rent prices based off of the person’s earnings within the area median income.

Individuals or families earning 30% of the area median income for a two-bedroom apartment will have a rent price of $418, 50% is a rent price of $773 and 60% is a rent price of $951.

Twenty-one of the 50 units are three-bedroom that is also based off of the person’s earnings within the area median income.

Individuals or families earning 30% of the area median income for a three-bedroom will have a rent price of $479, 50% is a rent price of $890 and 60% is a rent price of $1,095.

Thirteen of those units are at 30% of the area median income, 12 are at 50% of the area median income and 25 are at 60% of the area median income.

Amber Fields, former property manager of O’Brien Manor apartments, recently accepted the position to manage Seymour Lofts and is excited to get to work.

“TWG is an amazing company, and I am excited to help people get the homes they deserve,” she said.

Fields said in five years, she sees the complex looking the same as it does right now.

“I want people to treat this place like it’s their home,” she said. “When we have the community garden up and going, it will look beautiful here.”

During the grand opening, Conatser thanked the many partners that helped get the project off of the ground.

“It really takes a team to make something like this happen and bring it to life,” she said.

Alan Rakowski with IHCDA said the rental housing tax program is very competitive, as they get a surplus of applications each year.

“For every three applications we get, we can fund about one,” he said.

He praised TWG for staying strong during the many challenges the project encountered over its three years, including COVID-19 restrictions and supply chain issues.

Seymour Mayor Matt Nicholson said housing shortage is obviously an issue everywhere in the state, as Seymour struggles with the same thing. He said these units will have a serious effect on the quality of life in the area.

“It’s the little things that lead to a very successful project,” he said.

TWG finished its remarks to the many partners involved in the project before everyone joined the ribbon-cutting ceremony, finally welcoming a new affordable housing complex in a needed community.

“Our goal is to create a community, not just plop down a building and walk away,” Conatser said. “We want to create that community aspect and environment, so it’s great to see that paying off.”