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Commerce Place Townhomes

Commerce Place was a joint venture between a private developer acting on behalf of the Authority and the Housing Authority of the City of Decatur through its non-profit Decatur Housing Development Corporation. The land was owned by the Housing Authority and was remaining parcels from an old Urban Renewal program, one of which was adjacent to Decatur's family public housing. The Housing Authority contributed the land and the developer oversaw the development, acted as the general contractor, and marketed the townhomes for a fee.

Commerce Place Townhomes

Those eligible for the affordable units were employees of the City of Decatur on a first-come, first-served basis. An early information package was distributed to all city employees including school teachers, firemen, policemen, and all other payroll employees.

Income was restricted to $59,900 maximum per household and the Purchaser had to be a first-time homebuyer. The Housing Authority reduced the sales price on 4 units to $117,500 and 1 unit to $140,000 (a larger unit) for a total price reduction of $304,000. In addition, the Authority reduced the sales price on 6 additional units for first-time homebuyers by a total of $90,000. The price reduction was in the form of a soft second mortgage at a zero interest rate. Each year that the homeowner occupies the unit as their primary residence, 20% of the principal amount of the soft second mortgage principal was forgiven. Thus if the owner lived in the unit, as their primary residence, for five consecutive years, the soft second mortgage was totally forgiven and the owner earned a sizeable equity position.

The Authority's goal of 25% of the units being sold to public employees was achieved with the sale of five (5) townhomes to four (4) school teachers and one (1) police officer. The reduced prices were absorbed in the total development cost resulting in a bottom-line net revenue of approximately $50,000 for the Authority.

Magnolia Award Winner

Commerce Plan Townhomes was a Magnolia Award Winner.