218 First Avenue, Sterling, Illinois
Units: 20 Mixed Income Residential
$5.6 Million Investment
GROWTH celebrated a ribbon cutting on the adaptive reuse of the Lawrence Building, 218 First Avenue, on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. in downtown Sterling, IL. The Lawrence Lofts development is considered a milestone in the redevelopment of downtown Sterling and the riverfront by providing downtown urban living options for individuals seeking affordable housing within walking distance to services, amenities, and will provide growth opportunities for downtown businesses.
About the Project
GROWTH redeveloped the second through fifth floors of the Lawrence Building into a $5.6 million adaptive-reuse, mixed-use development re-purposing the vacant, upper stories into twenty (20) residential affordable rental units. Residential units range from 484-780 square feet, featuring one bedroom/one bath units and two bedroom/two bath units. Rent ranges from $215-$740 per month.
The Lawrence Lofts Development Team was as follows:
The first floor remains under separate ownership The development will saves the existing Whiteside County Extension Office from having to relocate outside downtown Sterling, and allowed for Whiteside County to eliminate a large and unfunded financial building maintenance burden.
Connection to Veterans
GROWTH is working with the local Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic, located just two blocks away for the Lawrence Building, to receive referrals to prioritize veterans and move them along the housing continuum to permanent housing arrangements with either on-site or off-site services provided by the VA.
Total costs for the development was more than $5.6 million and the financing that made it possible was incredibly complex. Numerous sources made the funding possible including:
Above: Ribbon cutting celebrating the completion of Lawrence Lofts. Left: Lawrence Lofts opened up windows that have been shuttered since the 1960's. Twenty residential units now occupy the upper stories of the Lawrence Building, offering unique floor plans for those wishing to live downtown Sterling.
Interesting Fact: The completion of Lawrence Lofts marks the first time the upper stories have been occupied since the 1960's.
Funding sources for the Lawrence Lofts development includes Low Income Housing Tax Credits, State Affordable Housing Tax Credits, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, Sterling TODAY, Sauk Valley Bank, and Illinois Attorney General National Foreclosure Settlement Funds.
Catalyst for Investment
The Lawrence Lofts development comes off the success of nearly a 10-year partnership between GROWTH and the City of Sterling. Lawrence Lofts is the first multi-family development GROWTH has produced in downtown Sterling, but GROWTH has been partnering with the City of Sterling since 2009 on various housing initiatives including Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2, Illinois Attorney General National Foreclosure Settlement Funds, and various revitalization and repair programs for single family homes throughout the city of Sterling.