Union pension funds at work, again, building St. Louis housing

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gradeznici500-480x319AFL-CIO HIT investing $46 million to finance hundreds of housing units, create union jobs

Once again, union pension funds are going to work building new and remodeling older St. Louis housing projects with the announcement by the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) that it’s providing $46 million in financing for two multifamily developments in the greater St. Louis area, helping to provide 381 new units of multifamily housing.

The to be all be 100 percent union-built developments “ means more family-supporting union jobs for our members and more high quality union-built development for the community,” said Jeff Aboussie, executive secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, adding, “the union community welcomes the HIT's continuing investments in our St. Louis region.”

ALMOST $1 BILLION INVESTED IN ST. LOUIS

The HIT has an active track record of financing projects in the St. Louis area.

In its 30-year history, the HIT has invested approximately $549 million in 28 St. Louis area projects with total development costs of over $900 million. These projects represent 4,736 housing units and more than 6,380 union construction jobs.

Just since 2009, under the HIT’s Construction Jobs Initiative, the HIT has invested $227 million to support eight projects in the St. Louis metro area, which represents more than 2,860 jobs for members of the local building and construction trades unions.

Besides providing a major boost to the local economy, these projects also financed 1,648 new or rehabilitated housing units for local residents.

NEWEST PROJECTS

The latest HIT projects will include:

  • $5.1 million of the $8 million for the St. John Neumann Apartments in St. Louis County to help Cardinal Ritter Senior Services convert a building to a Low Income Housing Tax Credit development that will enhance the marketability and livability of the building.

Built in 1991, the HIT is helping finance new construction of an additional 11 units to the 100 existing units in the building and allowing for substantial rehabilitation of the existing units.

  • $42 million investment in the Heights at Manhasset development in Richmond Heights.
Aboussie
WITH THE HIT's INVOLVEMENT "all the construction work will be done union," Jeff Aboussie, executive secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building Trades said. "That means more family-supporting jobs for our members and more high quality union-built development for the community."

The new building will include 281 market-rate housing units. The project will be the first of four development phases.

“The HIT is excited to provide financing to these projects that will offer affordable housing options to a community that has had limited new construction since 2005,” said HIT Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Stephanie H. Wiggins.

CONSTRUCTION
JOBS INITIATIVE

In addition to St. John Neumann Apartments and The Heights at Manhasset, other St. Louis-area projects financed by the HIT include:

  • Holy Infant & St. Joseph Apartments, Cardinal Ritter Senior Services' properties in Shrewsbury: A $13 million rehabilitation project offering 157 housing units affordable for low-income seniors. The HIT provided $6.6 million in financing. The project generated approximately 90 union construction jobs.
  • Park Pacific Apartments, St. Louis: A $98 million redevelopment offering 230 housing units. The HIT provided $63 million in financing. The project created an estimated 755 union construction jobs.
  • The Laurel, St. Louis: A $175 million redevelopment offering 205 housing units. The HIT provided $45 million in financing. The project generated approximately 1,340 union construction jobs.
  • Villas at Crystal Lake, Swansea, IL: A $26 million development offering 216 housing units. The HIT provided $24 million in financing. The project created an estimated 140 union construction jobs.

HOUSING INVESTMENT TRUST

The HIT is a fixed-income investment company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It manages $5 billion in assets for more than 370 investors, which include union and public employee pension plans.

The HIT invests primarily in government and agency insured and guaranteed multifamily mortgage-backed securities, with the objective of providing competitive returns for its investors, with the goal of promoting construction of affordable housing and generating employment for union members in the construction trades and related industries.

More information is available on the HIT's website, www.aflcio-hit.com.

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