The first-ever apartment building dedicated to people age 62 and over may be built in the city's downtown.
City Council approved a sales agreement Thursday with Fortus Group of Fort Wayne, Ind. at its Thursday night meeting.
The $6 million project would remove the 45-space parking lot at Via Bella and Mulberry Street to make room for a four-story, 38- to 40-unit market-rate building.
One caveat exists. The project moving forward is dependent upon Fortus Group receiving tax credits through the Internal Revenue Service that are close to $6 million, said Kevin Hogan, director of development for Fortus Group.
Each year, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency receives about 100 applications from developers for tax credits to build properties, Hogan said. It typically finances 30 to 35 of them, he said.
Williamsport remains in an urban setting and Hogan will submit the request for tax credits in early November.
"I believe we have a good chance in this competitive process," Hogan said.
The developer then gets and investor to buy the credits and the cash is used to pay down the mortgage so that a market-rate product can be built and tenants are charged affordable rents, Hogan said.
Marcellus Shale industry has driven prices up, leading to the need to find more affordable housing for senior citizens, he said.
The city provides a place in which the seniors can live, shop, eat, and recreate.
The city anticipates collecting $30,000 in a building permit fee and real estate and other taxes.