COVINGTON, Ga. – Area residents 55 years and older will have more local rental options in a couple of years after a Covington City Council vote to approve a Special Use Permit for a new multi-family senior development Tuesday night.
The permit to build The Legends of Covington was requested by Dominium Development & Acquisitions, LLC, of Plymouth, Minnesota. The company said it plans to build an age restrictive, 55-plus community at 5188 Clark St.
The four-story, 198-unit building will be developed on 12.5 acres of a 16.5-acre parcel of land near Turner Lake Road. It will contain 100 one-bedroom units, 82 two-bedroom units and 16 three-bedroom units.
The main entrance to the development will be off of Clark Street with a planned “right turn in/right turn out” only secondary entrance off of Turner Lake Road.
Jordan Richter, of Dominium, told council members his company was excited about the site.
“Number one, it has direct pedestrian access to the Newton County Senior Center via the underpass at Turner Lake Road," he said. "That is the most active senior center in the entire state of Georgia – 300-plus active users there. We think teaming our development here with the services, meals, etc. offered via pedestrian access is a major plus.
“We also love the connectivity both to hopefully what becomes a beautiful trail system directly adjacent to the property, as well as the abundance of retail services, restaurants, etc. directly up Turner Lake.”
Richter said the one-bedroom units will have approximately 750 square feet with two-bedroom units ranging from 1,025 to 1,100 square feet. A few three-bedroom units will have up towards 1,300 square feet. Richter said there is a demand for the larger units.
“Based on our demographics for these type of deals that we build, we find that 30-40 percent of residents are former homeowners who moved out, didn’t want to deal with maintenance anymore,” he said. “Our average tenant age for one of these deals is 71.5 -years old and so we do find some demand - especially from couples - for that extra space to have a formal dining room and to have extra storage in their apartment so you don’t have to downsize as much.”
Richter said the development’s impact on traffic the area should be minimal based on the age of its residents.
“Our population, they are not heavy drivers and they are not heavy peak hour drivers, we should have a very minimal impact,” he said.
Richter also said Dominium plans to continue to own the property after the project is finished.
“After construction is complete, we’re going to own it for 15 years. More than likely, we’re going to own it for as long as we possibly can,” he said. “We’re long term owners, long term managers of real estate. We really want to connect and grow with the communities that we enter.”
Richter described the new development as affordable housing.
“This will be an affordable housing project,” he said. “ It will not be directly subsidized on the rent side, however, it will utilize tax credits in order to keep rents down.
“An average resident living here, one person is going to make between $25,000 and $31,000 per year in income. That doesn’t count any of their savings, what they sold their house for or retirement savings. A two-person household is going to be between $30,000 and $35,000. So it’s restrictive at 60 percent of area median income.”
Richter said Section 8 vouchers will be accepted at the new development, but there will no direct rent subsidy.
“If there is a Section 8 voucher holder from the Covington Housing Authority that has a Section 8 voucher and would like to live there, we will accept that,” he said. “However, there will not be any direct subsidy at the project level. So if somebody comes in, unless they already have the voucher, they’re going to have to make the income limits that will allow them to pay the rent.”
Richter said Dominium hopes to close on the property and start construction in late July.
“We anticipate 16 months approximately to finish construction which would put us at the start of 2021 for occupants to move in,” he said.
This is the second multi-family senior housing development approved by the council in recent months. In November, members approved a similar project at 11101 Covington Bypass Road.