Home Building to Begin in Front Door Pride Area
(EVANSVILLE, IN) – Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel today is announcing that new home construction is set to begin in the Front Door Pride area. Construction will be done in phases, with the first phase starting in October and the second early next year. Also, six area banks have pledged $50 million for mortgage loans in order to help people purchase Front Door Pride homes. “The first new homes in the Front Door Pride area show my plan to revitalize these neighborhoods is making real progress,” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “But these two phases are only the beginning. We see more homes being built as lots are acquired and cleared for construction.” Phase one of Front Door Pride construction will involve building two homes on the vacant lots between 114 and 120 Madison Avenue. Phase two provides for an additional eight to 10-single family homes to be built within a one-block radius of phase one. These lots are in Goosetown redevelopment project areas one and two, which are bounded by Southeast 2nd, Madison, Garvin, and Washington Avenues. This section was chosen because it has the greatest number of potential building lots available right now, and it’s near the Alhambra Theatre that is the center of the Haynie’s Corner Arts District. Old National Bank, Fifth-Third Bank, Integra Bank, Evansville Commerce Bank, First Federal Savings Bank, and the Bank of Evansville have agreed to allocate $50 million in mortgage loans to help qualified homebuyers with their purchases. The City of Evansville and the non-profit developer, Our Greater Community, are using a $1 million grant received from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to provide subsidies of up to $25,000 toward the construction cost of each new home. A local Housing Trust Fund grant will also be used to help offset the cost of development. The selling price of a Front Door Pride home will be based upon its appraised value. For these first two homes, the sales price of the one-story home will be $83,500 and $80,500 for the two-story home. People who are interested in buying a new home in the Front Door Pride area should contact Our Greater Community, which is partnering with another local non-profit organization, HOPE of Evansville, to administer the program. Buyers have to meet income qualifications, which means household gross income must be at or below 80% of area median income. For a household of four, that amount is $45,500; a household of three is $40,950; a household of two is $36,400; and for a single person the amount is $31,850. Buyers must also complete a first-time homebuyer education class before they can purchase a home. A minimum down payment of $500 is required. “I want to thank the people of Our Greater Community and HOPE of Evansville for overseeing the new building program for Front Door Pride, and for working with the buyers to make sure they are well-prepared to become new homeowners,” said Mayor Weinzapfel. “The banking institutions who have committed their sizeable resources to this project have my gratitude as well.” New homes in the Front Door Pride area must be built according to 31 approved designs. These designs were submitted by local builders, and reviewed by neighborhood associations and the Historic Preservation office. The Evansville Brownfields Corporation is in charge of landbanking properties for this project. Many of the lots have only 25 feet of frontage, so adjacent lots need to be acquired to reach the 40-80 feet of frontage necessary to build modern homes. It can be a lengthy process. Currently, the Brownfields Corporation owns 113 parcels in the Front Door Pride area. By combining parcels, there are over 20 buildable sites available in addition to the eight to 10 sites in phase two. Additional sites for construction will become available as additional properties are acquired. Front Door Pride is one of the top priorities of the Weinzapfel administration. The entire area is bounded by the Lloyd Expressway to the north, U.S. 41 to the east, Veterans Parkway to the south, and Cherry Street to the west. The program seeks to revitalize some of the City’s oldest neighborhoods by reversing decades of decline and neglect.