State awards housing tax credits to Liberty Trails Townhomes

Construction could begin this fall on a 100-unit townhome apartment complex in Liberty Hill.

Liberty Trails Townhomes, a project of Picerne Development of Altamonte Springs, Florida, received news this week that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has awarded federal housing tax credits to the development.

The credits will be used to help developers raise capital from private investors, thereby reducing the developer’s debt and allowing the property to offer lower priced rents based on a range of resident income levels.

Another proposed multi-family rental community that was to cater to senior citizens in Liberty Hill was not approved for tax credits.

Interim City Manager Greg Boatright said Liberty Manor received a challenge from a competitor that the “City of Liberty Hill didn’t have standing as a sponsoring government agency.”

Boatright said the property on State Highway 29 at Bailey Lane was not annexed into the city limits in time to meet an application deadline and therefore should have been sponsored by the county or a county housing system.

Boatright said the delay in annexing the property into the city was not a fault of the City. The process was simply late getting started. He said developers have said the project will not go forward because it did not receive the tax credits.

He said the reason Liberty Trails was not rejected for the same reason is due to the fact that part of that property is already inside the city limits.

He said the front 100 feet of property on State Highway 29 is inside the city limits. Liberty Trails will be constructed on 9.5 acres on the Northeast corner of RR 1869 and State Highway 29.

Developers say the $15 million complex will offer one, two and three-bedroom townhomes with attached garages. The property will have a clubhouse with a business center, exercise room, media room and library and will offer after-school chid care for resident children.

The City of Liberty Hill expressed its support for both rental communities. The City Council adopted resolutions and committed $15,000 worth of in-kind contributions for infrastructure to help connect Liberty Trails Townhomes to city water and wastewater.

Picerne Vice President for Development Jorge Aguirre told the City Council some months ago that the City will gain an estimated $70,000 in annual property tax revenue from the townhome community.