Harkins Builders of Marriottsville, Md., received a big boost to its multi-family residential business recently, thanks to a mix of government stimulus and tax credits. Between Dec. 1, 2009 and Jan. 15, 2010, the company saw loan closings and subsequent construction starts on six projects in the Mid-Atlantic. Harkins officials point to the use of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, the Tax Credit Assistance Program and Section 1602 Exchange funds, which are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Many of the deals closed in order to meet end-of-the-year deadlines, according Harkins officials.

Harkins Sees Spike in Multi-Res Business

Using a combination of tax credits and rental home funds, Harkins started work on Sierra Woods, a 160-unit $6-million rehab of a garden community Columbia, Md.

The Hickman in West Chester, Pa., is a 60-unit $8.5-million independent living addition to an existing assisted living community. The project uses 9% tax credits and TCAP funds.

The company also started Fairgrounds Phase II, which includes 71 units of rental townhomes in Chester, Pa. LIHTC issued through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and TCAP funds were used to jumpstart the project. Harkins completed Phase I in November 2008.

Somerset Commons in Princess Anne, Md., includes 60 units spread over several buildings and a community building. The financing included 9% tax credits and Section 1602 Exchange funds.

Weinberg Village Phase V is a $9 million project in Owings Mills, Md., that combines county financing through Community Development Block Grant funds and LIHTC. The Weinberg Foundation and a construction loan from Capital One completed the financing. Harkins built the previous four phases. The current phase is the final phase, connecting all other existing facilities. When completed it will feature 447 rental units.

Crews are currently demolishing 43 buildings on the 20-acre site of Delaware Terrace in Eaton, Pa. Once cleared, Harkins will begin the 40-unit first phase of the planned multi-phase project. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency issued tax credits, and TCAP funding is being utilized.

Harkins officials say they expect another project, Guilford Gardens in Columbia, Md., to close later this month. The 269-unit revitalization of a 1970s community will include the demolition and reconstruction of multiple buildings. Multiple funding sources will be used, including LIHTCs and federal funding for rain harvesting cisterns.