With the recently completed Comprehensive Housing Strategy revealing that Mooresville citizens were eager for affordable senior housing, the town announced Monday that a 66-unit development aimed at people age 55 and older is planned in the Cascade community.

The apartments, called Cascade Gardens, will be located on Williams Street off N.C. 115, north of downtown.

Terrell Blackmon, the town’s Community & Economic Development manager, presented the project’s plans during the Mooresville Board of Commissioners’ mid-month meeting. Low Income Housing Tax Credits of about $750,000 from the state have been awarded to the Wesley Community Development Corporation, which will develop the project on town-owned land.

“This will be the first signature development breaking ground as a result of the housing strategy,” said Blackmon. “We’re very excited about it, and construction should start in early 2018.”

No other details of the senior housing project were available, and Blackmon said he would come back to the board with more information as the project develops.

In other news Monday, the town awarded its first Economic Development Incentive Loan to Scratch Made Kitchens II, LLC to assist owners Chuck and Stacy White with the upfit of their second Famous Toastery location in downtown Mooresville.

The incentive loan pilot program was approved by commissioners in May, and uses money awarded to the town from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program. The loans, ranging from $15,000 to $75,000, can have a term of up to 10 years and be used to finance the acquisition of land, buildings, new construction, renovation, or expansion of a facility.

To qualify, applicants must provide proof of a bank loan approval, submit a $100 non-refundable application fee and 10 percent equity, as well as provide a personal guarantee for the loan amount. Additionally, owners must demonstrate the ability to repay the loan, having adequate collateral and good credit.

The business also has to create one new, full-time position for every $35,000 loaned within three years of the loan closing.

The Whites were approved for $75,000 at three percent interest rate over seven years. They have already closed on a loan with First National Bank for $128,640, and estimate the total cost of the upfit at around $168,564.

“I really like that this program already has participants,” said Commissioner Thurman Houston. “We’re giving them a chance to upgrade downtown and get customers, and the good part is, the money will be paid back to us, since this is a loan.

“It’s basically a refund to us, a revolving amount so we can (give it to another business owner) and use it for other things. It’ll go a long way toward keeping downtown viable and growing.”

Also Monday, as expected, commissioners voted to move forward with establishing an R-2 zoning for a 36.4 acre parcel of land on Ponderosa Circle near I-77/Exit 33. Iredell County commissioners released the parcel from the county’s ETJ, or extra-territorial jurisdiction, to the town of Mooresville in August.

The establishment of zoning is the nest step toward allowing Ryan Homes to move forward with building an estimated 90-unit development on the property, with homes around 1,700 to 2,100 square feet, and priced about $300,000.

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