Complex Name Change Marks Connections Between Past and the Future

Governor Bob Holden and U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt lead an impressive delegation of civic leaders who helped rename an affordable housing development in St. Louis during ceremonies Monday, Aug. 12.

Conducted by the Wishcamper Group, a national developer of apartment housing, the ceremony honored the late Alex Aboussie, former owner of the properties, for his contributions to affordable housing by changing the name of the Bevo Place Apartments and Bavarian Tower senior apartment complexes (4627-4635 Ridgewood Avenue) to "The Aboussie Pavilion." Also attending the event were local dignitaries Alderman Stephen Gregali, State Sen. Harry Kennedy, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, and Clifton Berry, Director of Fannie Mae's St. Louis Partnership Office.

The ceremony also marks the kickoff of Wishcamper Group's purchase, restructuring and rehabilitation of the more than 20 year old properties.

Missouri Housing Development Commission and its financial partners has agreed to finance the acquisition and rehabilitation of the property and its 273-units of senior housing in these adjoining properties.

Wishcamper Group of Portland, Maine, purchased the developments from the Aboussie family who developed these properties more than 20 years ago with two U.S. Housing and Urban Development insured loans financed by MHDC.

The financing for the $22.5 million project includes the $13 million tax-exempt bond issue. Fannie Mae purchased the bonds as a financial partner in the restructuring and rehabilitation project. Fannie Mae is the largest private-sector provider of multifamily financing for affordable and market-rate rental housing in America. Fannie Mae's involvement allowed MHDC to provide a $12.47 million loan insured by HUD through their Risk Share program and $610,546 in federal and state Housing Tax Credits. Affordable Equity Partners, Inc., of Columbia, Mo. also serve as financial partners by securing and purchasing the tax credits, bringing additional equity to this layered financing.

The re-structuring of The Aboussie Pavilion will extend the useful life of the buildings and bring immediate needed changes to the buildings, including a life safety upgrade (code issues, fire alarm systems, etc.). It will also replace windows, roofs, cabinets, countertops, ranges, plumbing, fixtures and other interior finishes.

When complete, the 198 one-bedroom units at Bevo Place will rent for $625 with the 69 one-bedroom units of Bavarian rent for $530 a month and Bavarian's six two-bedroom units rent at $740 per month. All tenants receive rental assistance through a project-based Section 8 contract.

In completing this restructuring with the Wishcamper Group, MHDC and its financial partners will be preserving these developments, extending the life of the project-based Section 8 contracts and preserving its existing loan portfolio.

Questions concerning the project can be directed to the following agencies:

  • David W. Bryan, APR, Public Information Administrator, MHDC, 816.759.6658
  • Courtney Ronan, Fannie Mae Dallas Office, 972.773.7350
  • Joe Wishcamper, The Wishcamper Group, Portland, Maine, 207.774.6989