The Ridge at Sun Valley is an affordable housing project for people who make 60% or less of the area median income.
A new apartment project is giving Reno much-needed low-income housing at a time when residents are struggling with near-record rents.
The Ridge at Sun Valley is officially breaking ground Thursday morning on 10 acres of land in north Reno at 5100 W. First Ave. by Slope Drive. The project, which is being developed by Colorado-based Ulysses Development Group, will add 195 units of low-income housing to the area.
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The Sun Valley location was one of the first sites identified by Ulysses Development Group after it was formed two years ago as an affordable housing developer by partners Connor Larr and Yoni Gruskin.
“We identified Northern Nevada as an area facing an acute housing crisis,” Larr said when reached by phone. “Obviously, Northern Nevada has really felt the squeeze in the last few years as the world changed (from the pandemic).”
How much are rents and who qualifies for The Ridge at Sun Valley?
Rents at The Ridge at Sun Valley will vary depending on the unit size. Here are projected rents based on the numbers for today, which can change by the time the apartments are available:
All units at The Ridge at Sun Valley will be reserved for tenants who meet the requisite low-income requirements set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
To qualify, households must make 60% or less of the area median income, according to Larr.
As of May 3, the threshold equates to an annual household income of $39,000 for one person or $56,000 for a family of four, according to Ulysses Development Group.
Reno has recently seen several new affordable housing projects. These include The Vintage at Redfield Apartments and Altitude by Vintage developments that were approved by the city of Reno in December. California-based USA Properties also acquired two existing affordable housing apartments in Reno last August in order to remodel them.
The Ridge at Sun Valley will not be an age-restricted project, according to Larr.
“It’s for working individuals and families but seniors can certainly live here as well,” Larr said
What amenities will The Ridge at Sun Valley have?
Like many of the new low-income developments entering the market, The Ridge at Sun Valley will have a modern look and amenities.
“Historically, when you talk about income-restricted or affordable housing, there tends to be a negative connotation,” Larr said. ”Our goal as a developer is to provide quality housing for people who work and support the community.”
“We want people to walk in and say, 'Wow,'” Larr added.
Amenities at The Ridge at Sun Valley include:
Units at The Ridge at Sun Valley will also have washing machines, dryers, steel appliances, walk-in closets and patios.
When will The Ridge at Sun Valley finish construction?
Construction is expected to take about two years with units being phased in, according to Larr.
“It will be 100% complete by 2025 but some units might be available earlier,” Larr said.
Developing low-income housing is always a challenge and The Ridge at Sun Valley is no exception.
Unlike standard multifamily housing, low-income housing requires not just bank financing but public funding and tax credits to make the project pencil out. Issues with inflation and rising construction and labor costs also adversely impacted the project.
“Our financing partners US Bank and Citibank stuck with us through the long term, which was huge,” Larr said.
The project also received support from state and local partners.
The Washoe County HOME Consortium, for example, provided funds from the HOME Investment Partnerships Program while the Nevada Housing Division helped the project secure funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. In addition to the 4% federal housing tax credit, the project also received a state housing tax credit.
“It’s been a bit of a zig-zag in the last couple of years when the financing environment changed and construction and labor pricing impacted the development’s feasibility but we know it’s an important project for Washoe County and Reno,” Larr said. “At the end of the day, we got all the permits and approval in place and, working with the housing division and the consortium, we were able to get a financing package to get this project off the ground.”