News About Hercules Real Estate Services

Hercules Real Estate Services is a front-runner in the multi-family housing industry. With over 8,000 apartment homes in seven states, we find we always have news to share.  With a strong emphasis on reliability, trustworthiness and bedrock values, our team has managed to take on many new developments and made great strides in an ever-growing industry. Stay up to date on our latest news stories by selecting from the articles below.

We appreciate your interest in news and developments at Hercules Real Estate Services. We hope you will check back often for updates!

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Legget Joins State and Local Officials for Galaxy Apartments Ribbon Cutting Event...

Silver Spring, MD, May 30, 2012 – RST Development today held a ribbon cutting event to mark the opening of The Galaxy Apartments, a new, five-story, 195-unit, mid-rise rental apartment building in downtown Silver Spring, MD. RST Development principal Scott Copeland was joined by federal, state and local officials to address business leaders, members of the community and media and celebrate the unique and complex public private partnerships that brought the project to fruition. Officials in attendance included:

The Honorable Isiah Leggett, County Executive, Montgomery County, MD
Stacy L. Spann, Executive Director, Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County
Raymond Skinner, Secretary, Maryland Dept. of Housing and Community Development
Richard Nelson, Director, Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Arthur Holmes, Director, Montgomery County Department of Transportation
Carol J. Galante, Acting Federal Housing Administration Commissioner and Asst. Secretary for Housing
Mary Ann Henderson, Multifamily Hub Director, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Gary Grippo, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Government Financial Policy, U.S. Dept. of the Treasury

RST Development is grateful to this project is an affirmation of a goal of linking the development of County facilities to the creation and preservation of affordable housing opportunities for all Montgomery County residents," said County Executive Isiah Leggett. "The Galaxy shows how well housing, economic development and transportation goals can mesh to result in projects that benefit everyone in the community and the county economy overall."

"Providing mixed-income housing, in transit-friendly, desirable locations is a key strategy in meeting our community's need for affordable homes. The Galaxy, with more than a third of the apartments affordable to families of modest means, meets that standard. HOC is proud to have been a financial partner in the development of this apartment community," said Stacy Spann, Executive Director of the Housing Opportunities Commission."

"FHA is a proud partner in the development of affordable multi-family rental housing," said FHA Acting Commissioner Carol Galante. "Working side by side with the Department of Treasury and state and local governments, investments like these are spurring economic recovery, stimulating job growth and making sure high-cost rental markets like Montgomery County can still be a place where working families can call home."

The Galaxy was developed by RST Development after an extensive property assemblage and is an example of a public private partnership working together for jobs, affordable housing and development. The financing included a tax-exempt bond mortgage of $38.5 million provided by the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission through the federal New Issue Bond Program, along with a $5 million loan from the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs, from the County's Housing Initiative Fund. The County also provided a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development provided Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The 368-space parking garage is the result of a partnership between RST Development and the Montgomery County Parking Lot District, who owned the surface lot that existed prior to development.

The Federal Housing Administration is insuring the development's $38.5 million mortgage loan under FHA's Section 221(d)(4) Program. This mortgage insurance program helps private developers construct or substantial rehabilitate multi-family rental properties for moderate-income families, the elderly and persons living with disabilities.

The Galaxy is now 60% leased and is expected to be approximately 50% occupied by the end of May. Adjacent to the Galaxy, another RST Development project, The Orion Condominium, is being completed with the sales center scheduled to open in mid-June. This boutique building offers 46 owners top quality finishes at extraordinary prices, starting in the low 300's for a one-bedroom condominium up to the low 400's for a two-bedroom with den. Finishes and amenities include: wide plank flooring, ceramic tile baths, granite kitchen countertops, full-size washers and dryers, balconies, ground level fitness center and a rooftop deck with grills and featuring The O Club, a glass-enclosed lounge.

The Galaxy team is comprised of top quality firms in the areas of design and construction, including Hercules Real Estate – Leasing and Management; Clark Realty Builders – General Contractor; AGM Financial Services; A.R. Meyers & Associates Architects, Inc. AIA – Architect; Studio 39 – Landscape Architect; Hartman Design Group – Interior Design; Martha Jackson Jarvis – Mural; Streetsense – Marketing.

Galaxy Apartments Open in Downtown Silver Spring, MD...

Public Private Partnership Delivers Public Art Spaces, Affordable and Market Rate Housing and Public Parking in the Heart of Downtown Silver SpringSilver Spring, MD, February 13, 2012 – The stars aligned two years ago when developer RST Development and Montgomery County, MD combined forces to launch construction on the Galaxy, a new five-story, 195-unit, mid-rise rental apartment building in downtown Silver Spring, MD. Leased and managed by Hercules Real Estate, the Galaxy's leasing center was recently opened to prospective residents. A stunning, decorated model apartment is open for touring, public art is dazzling pedestrians and dozens of one, two and two bedroom with den apartments have been pre-leased. The Galaxy brings 82 affordable apartments and 113 market units to this dynamic section of Silver Spring.

"The Galaxy is opening its doors to residents at a very opportune time in the market," said RST Development Principal, Scott Copeland. "Our location in the core of Silver Spring's arts district, walking distance to the Metro, has great appeal to the growing number of individuals and families who want to rent in a close-in location. We brought in top local design talent and artists to create a fresh, contemporary design and a decidedly urban feel to this project."

"The Galaxy team is fulfilling its promise to bring affordable and market rate housing as well as additional parking to downtown Silver Spring," said Richard Y. Nelson, Jr., Director of the Montgomery County – Department of Housing and Community Affairs. "This public-private initiative demonstrates the opportunity we have for win-win-win developments in Montgomery County. The Galaxy is a win for residents of many income levels, a win for the County in bringing additional parking for a 24-7 neighborhood and a win for a development team that is opening the right product at exactly the right time."

Galaxy residents will enjoy an abundance of light and air at this stylish addition to downtown Silver Spring. A public plaza greets residents and their guests as they approach the project and a peaceful interior courtyard with benches and sculpture provides for both a quiet visit and allows for tranquil views from balconies and patios. A green roof provides eco-friendly storm water management and solar panels reduce the building's energy load.

Creating a pedestrian friendly path through the block between 13th Street and King Street, a new Art Walk will offer the opportunity for art installations by local artists. A stunning mural by acclaimed local artist, Martha Jackson Jarvis, greets residents at the entrance to the building.

Downtown Silver Spring combines convenience and extraordinary transportation access with an eclectic mix of dining, shopping, and entertainment. Galaxy residents will have front door access to the free VanGo shuttle service that serves more than two dozen Silver Spring stops, making outings to the many concerts, arts and crafts fairs, farmers market and cultural festivals easy and affordable. The Silver Spring Metro station is close to the project and three bus shelters with real-time schedule information flank the project. Bicyclists will find plentiful storage and the 368-car underground garage provides 208 dedicated spaces for residents as well as car share parking and public parking. A full service concierge and an Onsite Transportation Benefits Coordinator bring convenience and efficiency to life at the Galaxy.

Galaxy amenities include a large, luxurious clubroom with pool table, flat screen televisions and a Wii™ station as well as a cyber café with a Wi-Fi Hotspot. A fully equipped private fitness center sports glass windows to the plaza. Aparhttp://www.herculesliving.com/admin/index.cfm?adminFunction=editPage#tments are designed with condo-grade finishes, from custom cabinetry to granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to ceramic floors, full-size washers and dryers, walk-in closets, patios and balconies. Families will enjoy not only the easy walk to local favorite restaurants, grocery stores such as Whole Foods, movies and shops but also the private "tot lot" with creatively designed play equipment.

The Galaxy was developed by RST Development after an extensive property assemblage and is an example of a public private partnership working together for jobs, affordable housing and development. The financing included a tax-exempt bond mortgage of $38.5 million provided by the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission, along with a $5 million loan from the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs, from the County's Housing Initiative Fund. The County also provided a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development provided Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The 368-space parking garage is the result of a partnership between RST Development and the Montgomery County Parking Lot District, who owned the surface lot that existed prior to development.

The Galaxy team is comprised of top quality firms in the areas of design and construction:

Affordable Housing Redevelopment Dedicated in Atlanta, GA...

Local Dignitaries Attend Ribbon-Cutting for 192-Unit Villas at Lakewood; Hercules Real Estate Services Completes $6 Million Rehab Atlanta, Georgia, April 29, 2011– Atlanta City Council member Joyce M. Sheperd and other local officials joined to dedicate a newly renovated rental townhome community, The Villas at Lakewood, which is now providing much-needed affordable housing options for nearly 200 families. Virginia Beach, VA-based Hercules Real Estate Services (HRES), one of the leading affordable housing developers on the East Coast, has completed a $6 million renovation of the former Amal Heights community, located just south of downtown Atlanta at 1700 Giben Road, under the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. Three-bedroom townhomes at The Villas are available from $664 per month for qualifying individuals.

The Villas residents now enjoy a new community building and outside pavilion, an all-new playground, a furnished arts and crafts activity center, state-of-the-art computer center, walking paths with exercise stations, covered pavilion with barbecue facilities, and an attractively fenced community garden with gardening tools available for residents' use. Individual homes have upgraded bathrooms with new vanities, flooring, and lighting. Other upgrades include new kitchen cabinets, countertops, appliances and kitchen flooring. The units have an upgraded lighting fixture package and new carpet. Hercules replaced roofs, gutters, windows, exterior doors, siding, water heaters, and life safety systems. All water supply lines were replaced, and new energy-efficient heating and cooling systems were installed.

Over 160 of The Villas' units are designated affordable housing under the LIHTC program; 28 are market rate. Income qualifications for the affordable units range from $25,150 for an individual to $47,400 for a family of eight. The community is now 99 percent occupied.

The Villas' new ownership has worked closely with the community to provide a range of services to meet families' needs. The new Villages at Carver YMCA, just a half-mile away, provides discount memberships to all qualified residents. The newest YMCA in the metro Atlanta area, Carver YMCA offers licensed child care and after-school care as well as a variety of sports programs and classes including soccer, basketball, baseball, karate, dance, gymnastics, and more. All residents at The Villas, regardless of ability to pay, are accepted for participation in developmental after-school programs, including pick-up and drop-off service, offered by the nearby Joseph P. Whitehead Boys and Girls Club.

Hercules acquired the half-empty Amal Heights complex, in late 2007, with plans to convert the community to affordable housing under the LIHTC program. With the challenges of the financial markets during that period, Hercules continued to seek tax credit allocations and other public financing over the next two years. Finally, by May of 2010, Hercules closed on a complicated $20 million financing structure for acquisition and renovation that included:

Federal and state tax credits issued by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (GDCA) and purchased by Stratford CapitalExchange funds, part of a Federal economic stimulus program, issued by GDCATax-exempt bonds issued by the Atlanta Urban Residential Finance Authority (URFA) and credit enhancement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)Housing Opportunity Bonds issued by URFAHOME funds provided through the City of Atlanta. HUD's HOME Investment Partnerships Program is the largest Federal block grant to State and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.Owners' equity

The renovation and lease-up of The Villas at Lakewood demonstrates that despite the economic recession, public-private partnerships can find creative ways to make quality affordable housing available to the working people of America," said Todd Copeland, CEO, Hercules Real Estate Services.

Founded in 1995, the family-owned Hercules Real Estate Services now owns and manages over 40 properties, comprising of over 8,000 units, in six states – Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, – and Washington, D.C. Approximately 80 percent of Hercules Real Estate's portfolio is designated affordable under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. In little over a decade, Hercules has emerged as one of the leading companies of its kind in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions.

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