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Housing Authority to sell ‘aging’ Hagerman apartment complex

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This Hagerman apartment complex is available to buyers. It was originally built to provide affordable housing for dairy and farm workers. (Google Earth Photo)

A Hagerman apartment complex is up for sale.

The Eastern Regional Housing Authority, based in Roswell, has sent out a request for bidders for the Rio Felix Apartments at 221 W. Argyle St.

“The property is at a point where it is aging,” said Chris Herbert, executive director of the authority. “We looked at different options to do rehabilitation and, because we have to keep plans affordable because we are a government-owned entity, there is not a good match in the current financial packages available to do a rehabilitation. … That’s why the board moved to do a disposition.”

Built in 1984, the complex consists of 20 units on a 6.75-acre site, with 1.75 acres being undeveloped, according to a notice about the sale.

Chaves County online records indicate that the developed property consists of about seven residential buildings and a laundry building.

The minimum bid that will be accepted is $500,000, the authority has indicated.

“That is what we are required to do,” Herbert said. “We had an appraisal on the property and that appraisal came out to $500,000. We couldn’t sell it for less.”

Herbert said that the apartment complex was originally built as a U.S. Department of Agriculture project to provide housing for dairy and farm workers but is now open to all types of eligible renters. Eighteen units are now occupied, he said, and current leases would remain in effect under a new buyer. A purchaser could decide what to do with units after leases expire, however.

While the authority would like for someone committed to keeping the project an affordable housing development, its primary concern is to secure the $500,000 purchase price, Herbert said.

Potential buyers can inspect the property on Dec. 20, the date of pre-proposal conference. Bids are due by Jan. 2.

Herbert said the agency has received inquiries but that he cannot tell how many will turn into bidders. He also said that he is bound by regulations to not disclose specifics about conversations with potential bidders.

“The proceeds will be used for other developments,” he said. “We have a development just finishing in Eunice and a development just finishing in Artesia, so the proceeds from the sale will go into a development fund to do further development of affordable housing in our region.”

The Eastern Regional Housing Authority, once known as the Region VI authority, operates in 12 counties. It is one of three regional authorities in the state operating under the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority. It provides for and manages low-income and affordable housing projects and runs federal housing programs such as Section 8 vouchers.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.