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Janesville Arise

Developer unveils details of planned River Flats apartments in downtown Janesville

Source: The Janesville Gazette
October 9, 2019
By: Neil Johnson |

Developer unveils details of planned River Flats apartments in downtown Janesville

Janesville, WI - If it gets approved and built as planned, a 93-unit “affordable” apartment complex known as River Flats would rise five floors above the downtown intersection of Franklin Street and Laurel Avenue and offer rents its developer said would be tailor-made for a segment of the population with “low to moderate” income.

During a neighborhood meeting Tuesday, Daniel Kroetz, vice president of development for Commonwealth Companies, said renters, depending on their income, could typically expect to pay between $385 and $975 a month for an 850-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment.

At that price, Kroetz said, the apartments’ renters could expect an onsite management office, a fitness facility, a laundry room and about 89 parking spaces, Kroetz said. Many of the parking spaces would be underground in the sloped ground floor of the building.

Renderings of the L-shaped, red-and-tan brick apartment building on display Tuesday showed some upper units with balconies. Kroetz and city planning officials also answered questions from residents, adjacent apartment property managers, and members of the city’s Community Development Authority and plan commission, which has yet to vote on the proposal.

If there are no delays in the approval process, the apartment complex could break ground next spring and could be ready for occupancy by mid-2021, Kroetz said.

Commonwealth Companies would operate River Flats with the help of a federal tax credit the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority awarded the developer earlier this year. The program would require residents to earn no more than 30% to 80% of the local median salary in Rock County.

The tax credit rules require the apartments to operate as affordable housing for at least 30 years, Kroetz said.

Under the program, some of the units would be rented for less than $400 a month for a segment of the working population that earns up to 30% of the median local income.

The application process would include screening applicants based on income. The tax credit program is designed to require that the average single person who rents at River Flats has an income no greater than $32,000 a year—about 60% of the median for Rock County.