A request for public financing to support the purchase of the Fireside Park Apartments will be the subject of a public hearing during Monday’s Rockville City Council meeting.
The council will meet at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The meeting’s full agenda has not yet been released.
Rockville Housing Enterprises, which administers public housing in Rockville, has asked the city to commit $2 million toward the $36 million purchase of the 236-unit garden-style Fireside Park complex at 735 Monroe St.
The complex, which was built in 1961 and provides mixed-income rental housing, went on the market in April. A Florida-based company has made an offer for the property, but RHE is pursuing the purchase under the county’s right of first refusal, which gives the county and designated housing agencies the first chance to purchase properties for affordable housing.
The complex meets RHE’s goal of providing workforce housing to families who cannot afford market rate rents, RHE executive director Ruth O’Sullivan told a meeting of Rockville residents on Sept. 18.
There is a concern that a private buyer would raise rents, O’Sullivan told the council during a Sept. 24 presentation on RHE’s plans for the property.
Under the plan, RHE would preserve 40 percent of the complex—94 units—at rental rates affordable to people earning 60 percent or less of the area median income, $64,500 for a family of four.
Rents for families earning 60 percent of AMI would range from $1,209 a month for a one-bedroom unit to $1,613 for a three-bedroom unit, O’Sullivan said.
The other 60 percent of the units would rent at market rates. The current average market rent is $1,302 a month, according to an investment summary of the property from commercial real estate agent Transwestern.
Video of the Sept. 24 council meeting and presentation is available here.
RHE would take out a $32.4 million mortgage on the property.
Montgomery County has agreed to finance $2.8 million of the purchase, contingent on RHE and the city contributing an additional $2.5 million. Rockville is considering a mix of loans and a $200,000 grant through the city’s Housing Opportunities Fund, according to a report by city staff.
To sign up to testify at Monday’s hearing, call 240-314-8280 by 4 p.m. on Monday.