Bryk on Broadway sees flexibility with first leases
Rochester council agrees to increase income limits to help developer fill apartments in income-based complex.
ROCHESTER — The Bryk on Broadway Apartments was given potential wiggle room as it starts signing leases.
“We’re doing — I’ll call it a stop-gap — to try to help populate sooner so we can start having the housing be useful,” Rochester City Council member Patrick Keane said.
Acting as the city's economic development authority, the council unanimously voted to support a temporary change to the development agreement between the city and Bryk, which calls for creating income-based housing in exchange for financial support through tax-increment financing.
Rochester developer Dirk Erickson said more than half of the units dedicated to individuals and households earning up to 50% and 60% of the area median income have signed leases, but the units dedicated to a higher income bracket capped at 80% of the AMI have been more challenging.
He said accountants, nurses and Mayo Clinic research staff who have called about the apartments have been turned away because their incomes are slightly higher than $62,450 for an individual and $89,200 for families of four, which is 80% of the area median income.
Brent Svenby, Rochester’s senior administrative analyst, said the issue appears to be a mismatch in current incomes when compared to a delayed federal adjustment.
With the expectation that income guidelines will eventually increase, the council approved allowing up to 54 apartments to be rented to people earning up to 110% of the area median income through Oct. 1.
After that point, income guidelines will return to a maximum of 80%, unless an extension is sought and approved.
The rents will continue to be based on what is considered affordable for people earning 80% AMI.
In addition to the 54 apartments that can be individuals or families earning up to 110% AMI, another 54 of the Bryk’s 180 apartments will be reserved for people earning 80% AMI or less. with an additional 54 apartments dedicated to households earning less than 50% AMI and 18 units dedicated to households with incomes up to 60% AMI.
Erickson said the flexibility helps the apartment complex meet its anticipated budget, which is a concern, since taxes on the 80% AMI units don’t reflect the break on those being rented based on lower incomes.
He said the city support will help make the housing goal achievable.
“This is our way to give back to the community,” he said of keeping the rents low for 30 years.
With City Council approval, the request still needs to be approved by the Destination Medical Center Corp. executive committee, since the apartment complex is considered a public infrastructure project under DMC guidelines.
The DMCC executive committee meets at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in suite 106 of the Mayo Civic Center, 30 Civic Center Drive SE.
What happened: The Rochester City Council, acting as the city's economic development authority, unanimously voted to support temporary flexibility in income guidelines for the Bryk on Broadway Apartments.
Why does this matter: The apartment development is receiving tax-increment financing support in exchange for keeping rents at specific income-based levels for 30 years. The change relaxes requirements on 54 of the higher-priced units through Oct. 1 to help ensure apartments are leased as the building opens.
What's next: The modification of the development agreement will be reviewed by the Destination Medical Center Corp. executive committee on Thursday.