Applications expected in April for Aeolian

Published 11:15 pm Friday, December 16, 2011

Application forms for low- to moderate-income seniors to live in a redeveloped Aeolian building are expected by April, when renovations to the old complex at Cherry and Clay streets should begin, its developer said.

“We are in the process of designing, and ads are coming,” said Jeremy Mears of Houston-based Brownstone development firm. Mears expects the firm to close a deal to purchase the 87-year-old building by February, then open a central office on the ground floor or off-site.

Plans call for a massive interior transformation of the complex’s four levels to feature one- and two-bedroom units outfitted for cable television and Internet connections. Tenants will have on-site storage space and a media room and a salon inside the 15,500-square-foot building. Mears said designs include a 42-space parking area at Cherry and China streets and 20 additional spaces in the garage below the complex.

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Attendants hired by the complex will be able to park tenants’ vehicles in the lot, which Mears said will be redeveloped with a retaining wall.

In September, Brownstone won $749,045 in affordable tax credits, or HTCs, from the Mississippi Home Corporation to renovate the Aeolian. On Wednesday, the group was awarded $550,000 in HTCs in Louisiana to build a 30-unit apartment complex out of the old Bloom’s Arcade in Tallulah, which is credited with being the nation’s first indoor mall.

A single investor will be chosen from proposals to buy into the projects, Mears said.

Rental units funded by HTCs have tenants pay monthly rents on a sliding scale, based on a county’s area median income. Those eligible must earn less than 60 percent of that mark, which was $30,855 in Warren County, based on the most recent income-related census data. Minimum age for eligible tenants will be 62, as per federal guidelines for senior apartments funded by HTCs.