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Kingsport's Model City Apartments to get new owner, new look

Sharon Hayes • Apr 7, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Model City Apartments is in line for a new owner and a new look.

Knoxville-based Lowler Wood Housing LLC plans to acquire and rehabilitate Model City Apartments, a multi-family housing facility for low- and moderate-income residents located at 1000 Stonegate Road.

Lowler Wood spokesman Carr Hagen, who was on hand Tuesday at the Kingsport Economic Development Board meeting, said his company plans to renovate each of the facility’s 256 units at a cost of about $15,000 per unit.

Including acquisition of the property, the project will cost approximately $17 million.

Lowler Wood is submitting a bond application to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, and the KEDB has agreed to issue $13 million in tax-exempt bonds to help fund the project.

KEDB attorney Gorman Waddell said neither the city nor KEDB is committing any funds to the project. He said the agreement mirrors others in which KEDB has served as a conduit for financing, adding that the deal would not impact the credit availability of the KEDB or the city because it places no liability on either.

Hagen said his company hopes to have all financing in place by summer. Construction could start later this year and be completed in nine months.

Model City Apartments was built in the mid-1970s. Hagen said some of the appliances, mainly stoves or ranges, were replaced a few years ago. Lowler Wood plans to replace other appliances, including refrigerators, as well as sinks, faucets, windows, HVAC systems, and life alert equipment such as hardwired smoke detectors and alarm systems.

The company also plans to resurface parking areas and upgrade the playground.

Hagen said the work will be accomplished without displacing any residents. He said his firm specializes in acquiring and rehabilitating low-income apartment complexes. The company also owns Maple Oak in Kingsport and renovated it several years ago.

Lowler Wood also owns four conventional apartment complexes in the area — Brandy Mill, Cross Creek, Allandale Falls and The Landings at Silver Lake.

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