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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.