Merchants Capital Secures $21M in Financing for Workforce Housing Property Under Development in Indiana

by Kristin Harlow

EVANSVILLE, IND. — Mortgage banking company Merchants Capital has secured $21 million in financing for Forge on Main, a 180-unit workforce housing property currently under development in Evansville. Located in an Opportunity Zone, the project will include 15,000 square feet of commercial space. Of the 180 units, 18 will be reserved for residents earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), while the rest of the units will be priced for tenants at 60 to 120 percent of the AMI. Construction began in August and pre-leasing is underway for fall 2021 move-ins. Developers are working to put a grocery store in the commercial space.

The three-year construction loan is combined with an equity bridge loan of $3.4 million in redevelopment tax credits from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC). The borrower was House Investments. Project partners include the Partnership for Affordable Housing Inc., IEDC and the City of Evansville, which awarded tax-increment financing bonds and a 10-year property tax abatement. Additionally, the Centerpoint Energy Foundation, a nonprofit arm of Centerpoint Energy, provided a grant for the project. Indianapolis-based Blackline is the architect.

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