Don’t miss this great profile of the company from Affordable Housing Finance! Our name may have changed, but the way we do business has not! Innovation, resilience and focus are who we are!

By the end of 2019, HKP closed on 2 new properties in Texas- Laurel Vista and Magnolia Station! Adding these properties to our Texas portfolio brings us to 12 communities and 1,066 units in the Lone Star State! This gives us our second largest footprint, behind Indiana, of all the states we work in.

Magnolia Station Apartments is an affordable new construction development consisting of 5 residential buildings and a clubhouse to be located in Winnie, TX. The project was awarded a $6.25 million Community Development Block Grant to aid in rebuilding much-needed housing in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey which impacted the area in 2017. In addition, Merchants Bank of Indiana is providing a $3.5 million revolving loan facility to finance construction draws.

The property’s 44 units will serve households at a range of area median incomes (AMIs) – 5 units will be affordable to households at 30% AMI; 27 units will serve High HOME-eligible households (approximately 60% AMI); and 12 units will be market-rate units with no income restrictions. The community will have a leasing office/clubhouse with a business center, equipped fitness center, community room, and playground.

We also closed Laurel Vista Apartments in Beaumont, Texas. This is a 9% project that will consist of 60 tax credit and 9 market rate units. The development will be new construction designed for seniors and consist of one 4-story building with an elevator. The building will contain 32 one bedroom and 37 two bedroom units. Planned amenities include a leasing office, a community/game room with a kitchen, an exercise room, a business/computer room, and a library. This will be HKP’s third new construction development in Beaumont, TX in the last 5 years.

The financing arrangement includes equity and a construction/bridge loan from one of our favorite partners – Regions Bank.

A lot of time and hard work goes into getting a deal across the finish line. Fortunately, we have dedicated team members and partners who believe in what they do. We are excited to bring these communities to the residents of Texas and further our mission of creating value through real estate!

HKP recently won the inaugural Scaling Up Culture of the Year Award given by Scaling Up and Emplify!!!  The purpose of the award is to recognize those companies who have found a way to scale growing businesses while prioritizing their people and culture.

All applicants took Emplify’s proprietary 55-question engagement survey to set the data-driven baseline for each company. In order to move on as a finalist, each company had to have at least 50% participation. Finalists were chosen based on the top engagement scores, which represented a diverse group of industries. The finalists were then asked to submit an essay, highlighting how they tie their employee engagement initiatives to their greater business strategy. A panel of judges from both Scaling Up and Emplify reviewed the applications and ranked each applicant on the quality of their submission. Of the 20 applications, only four companies received the award!

When completing our application, we were asked to describe the actions we’ve taken to support an employee-focused culture. Our response included the following details:

  • Implementing a Paid FMLA Leave Program to increase employee morale and offer economic security to families during significant life events and give employees dealing with such events the peace of mind they are not in jeopardy of losing their jobs.
  • Encouraging managers to share team highlights in the President’s weekly email. This allows for quick recognition/feedback that will be seen by those at the highest levels.
  • We have also added a “Week in HKP Pictures” section to the President’s weekly email. We are hoping this will do a few things- put faces to names, show the fun we have at work, and encourage others to get creative with their work.
  • Our President makes every effort to visit each of our 150 locations (across 18 states) at least once a year. This allows him to meet our team members and speak with each of them, regardless of how far they are from Indianapolis.
  • We have invested in learning and development in different ways and at different levels. We have made great strides in communicating training opportunities, in increasing our offerings and in making sure we are offering the development that our team members need to do their work.

Anyone working on employee engagement will tell you that the work is always evolving and never complete- that’s makes the work both challenging and rewarding! We have accomplished a lot this year and it’s wonderful to have those efforts recognized by Emplify and Scaling Up!

Just recently one of our team members had an excellent example of how we are creating value through real estate – the newly established Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) surrounding our Riverside Trail property in Columbus, Ohio! Riverside Trail will have 248 apartment homes on the East side of Columbus, and will serve 60% AMI families. We closed on it in March and construction is in progress.

The CRA
When Caroline Kimmel was in the development process for Riverside, she realized that the area would benefit from being declared a Community Reinvestment Area. Doing so would allow all newly constructed affordable housing (and rehabbed housing with an affordable component) to be allowed a 15 year tax abatement. This would not only benefit Riverside, it would hopefully spur other developers to work in the area, as they would also receive the abatement. Affordable housing is badly needed in the area- a recent study identified that Franklin County (Columbus) as having a shortage of 55,000 affordable units based on projected growth over the next five years.

After identifying the solution, Caroline worked with Ice Miller, a law firm, Councilwoman Shayla Favor, and Steve Shoeny, Director- Columbus Development Department, to craft legislation that would declare the area a CRA, thus making the area more desirable for revitalization efforts! This CRA is the first for affordable housing in the City of Columbus, and HKP is the first developer to create a new CRA under the “ready for revitalization” category. For more information on the CRA, you can read this article.

Our Values
This effort took Caroline, Ice Miller, and Steve Schoeny from the City of Columbus about 7 months to accomplish, and it was certainly time well spent. While HKP did not need the CRA in order to develop Riverside Trail, we appreciate Caroline’s ability to see the big picture in a solution that would benefit both the company and the community we will be working in! Her efforts exemplified our Culture, Community and Commitment values, and will provide value to the community for years to come (15 to be exact)!