MPD Warehouse transformed into Owensboro Historic Residences affordable housing

September 21, 2018 | 4:12 am

Updated September 22, 2018 | 2:18 am

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On Sept. 20, 2018, Cohen-Esrey Affordable Partners, LLC (CEAP) hosted a grand opening celebration to present their newly completed Owensboro Historic Residences. This marked the transition of the MPD Warehouse, previously known as the Kentucky Buggy Manufacturing Building of Owensboro, at 301 E. 9th Street, from an industrial space to 28 attractive and well-equipped one and two-bedroom apartment units.

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The project started back in 2014 when Cohen-Esrey managing director, Tom Anderson, took particular interest in renovating a historic property in Owensboro.

At the event, Anderson recognized the city officials that were present, including Mayor Tom Watson, City Commissioners Larry Conder and Jay Velotta, Representative DJ Johnson, Asst. City Manager Lelan Hancock, as well as the Cohen-Esrey staff members in attendance.

“There is not a county in this entire country that does not have a shortage of housing for working people. Not a single county,” Anderson said. “The rents have gone up and the costs of homes have gone up and the people’s wages have not necessarily kept up…You don’t want to spend more than a third of your income on housing costs.”

Anderson believes the 1986 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, along with federal and state historic tax credits, have been “a way to create affordable housing for working people.” The building is on the National Registry of Historic Places, allowing it to qualify for additional historic tax credits.

Photo AP Imagery

The group made their way upstairs where Mayor Tom Watson helped lead the ribbon cutting ceremony before joining others on a walk-thru of the two residences that were open for viewing.

The century-old historic landmark features a one and two-bedroom floor plan, the unique charm of exposed beams and piping as well as modern amenities and large windows that allow for natural light. Construction of the property was completed in June 2018 with all units currently occupied. The monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment is $569 and $662 for a two bedroom, which includes everything except electric, which is sub-metered, or individually metered.

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Tammy Taylor, whose sister lives in the unit above her, had prepared a plate of chocolate chip cookies and baked cinnamon rolls as she proudly welcomed city officials, news crews and members of the public through her “new to her” home.

“It’s more than my expectations. I love it,” Taylor said. “My children are just ecstatic that I got in here because they were worried about me.”

Since 1986, Cohen-Esrey Affordable Partners, LLC has used its expertise with low-income housing tax credits and historic tax credits to turn iconic and underutilized community assets into workable housing solutions for working families and seniors on fixed incomes.

“Here we don’t have any debt and by not having debt on the building we’re able to keep the rents down — $569 and $662 — that’s pretty good for brand new apartments,” said R. Lee Harris, President and CEO of Cohen-Esrey. “We’re pleased with the program and pleased with the support we got.”

September 21, 2018 | 4:12 am

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