December 15, 2021
As reported in Biznow Dallas-Fort Worth, Saigebrook Development President Lisa Stephens was interviewed about the company’s renovation of a historic church, turning it into affordable housing for area residents earning less than the median income of the region. Now known as Place Cielo, this new affordable community includes 80 affordable units and 11 market-priced units.
The church dates from 1904 and likely would have been demolished had Saigbrook not purchased the property in 2019 after being contacted about the prospect by the City of Fort Worth the year before.
The property received a historic designation for the church granted by the National Register of Historic Places in 2020 opened up state and federal tax credits that could be used to help pay for the renovation. In partnership with investment partners Hunt Capital Partners and Aetna, Saigebrook completed the $ 22 million project.
In less than 60 days, Accolade Property Management has rented the 91 units. “We knew it would go quickly,” said Alice Cruz, development partner at Saigebrook. “There is such a need for affordable housing in Fort Worth in general, but also close to downtown. “
Many longtime residents of the Race Street area have been displaced as a result of the recent gentrification, Stephens said.
“When [gentrification] starts to happen, house prices start to rise and people tend to be evicted, ”Stephens said. “Being able to come and provide these units and have the affordability combined with accessibility, we think that will have a long-term impact on this neighborhood. “
The building was expanded twice in the 1950s and its last church service was on Christmas Eve 2018. Saigebrook commissioned Miller-Slayton Architects and interior design firm Ink & Oro to modernize the building while preserving elements of its design.
A community unveiling event took place at the site on December 16.
“As we peeled off the layers of this building – painstakingly preserving and restoring the woodwork, stained glass, light fixtures and structural components – we also peeled off layers of history and learned so much about the history of this church and from the community that has gathered here over the years, ”Stephens said in a statement.
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