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A rendering of a building at the Mission at El Camino Real development. Photo courtesy of the Michaels Organization

Michaels Organization closes on workforce housing community

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Michaels Organization, a national residential real estate and the private sector owner of affordable housing, has closed on $61 million in financing for Mission Trail at El Camino Real, a new mixed-income housing community in San Marcos, that will serve the city’s growing workforce needs.

“The development of this important workforce housing community is possible because of the forward-thinking leadership of the city, and we are grateful for their tremendous support,” Joseph Weatherly, regional vice president of development, said. “We look forward to being a part of the San Marcos community for years to come.”

San Marcos, which is located in the fourth fastest-growing county in the country, has attracted a large number of new businesses over the past decade and is home to one of the country’s fastest-growing universities, Texas State University.

“We’re excited about this project becoming a reality in San Marcos, and we look forward to working with Michaels as they move through the development process,” Mayor Jane Hughson said.

“I am thrilled our city’s leadership has chosen to partner with The Michaels Organization in bringing high-quality, affordable housing to our community. Michaels’ development model, which includes their continued ownership and management, ensures well-maintained, well-located and beautifully amenitized housing is delivered to our working families," Laura Dupont, senior vice president of development and operations at Corridor Title and chair of the San Marcos Workforce Housing Taskforce, said. “As chair of the Workforce Housing Taskforce, I fully understand the severe need for affordable housing in San Marcos and feel this project is a great step in the right direction for our citizens.”

The new Mission Trail at El Camino Real will be built on 30 acres of land located near the intersection of Highway 123 and Clovis Barker Road. Designed by Austin-based Kelly Grossman Architects, the community will comprise 15 garden-style buildings, offering a total of 352 rental apartment homes. Layouts for the spacious and energy-efficient apartments will range from one- to four-bedrooms, and community amenities will include a clubhouse with pool, fitness center and business center. The community’s green space will include gathering places, walking paths and two playgrounds.

The majority of apartments will be reserved for households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income, while 10 percent of the units will be reserved for individuals and families earning less than 140 percent of the area median income. The community will also offer 35 apartments without any income restrictions.

Financing for the development includes $43 million in tax-exempt bond financing issued by Capital Area Housing Finance Corporation and $15.5 million in equity raised through the sale of Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) allocated by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. U.S. Bank is providing the construction loan and is also the LIHTC investor. Berkadia is providing permanent financing through Freddie Mac.

“This project had to close in a very short period of time, which required the focus and support of everyone involved,” said John Lisella, Business Development officer with the U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the tax credit division of U.S. Bank. “Finding quality, affordable housing can often be a struggle in fast-growing communities where many families are already rent overburdened. Once constructed, Mission Trail at El Camino Real will help fill this need.”

A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for this spring, with pre-leasing beginning in the fall.

The Michaels Organization is a national leader in residential real estate offering full-service capabilities in development, property management, construction and finance. Serving 145,000 residents in more than 400 communities nationwide, Michaels is committed to crafting housing solutions that jump start education, civic engagement and neighborhood prosperity.