The city of Winston-Salem is the new owner of Clifford Apartments, a property snuggled in the corner of Spring Street and Seventh Street. Council voted 6-2 on Monday evening to approve the purchase with Councilmembers Barbara Hanes Burke and Annette Scippio dissenting.
The city made the purchase in “support of the city’s affordable housing objectives” and the “preservation of workforce housing” according to the resolution.
The property was sold to the city for $760,000 by Experiment in Self Reliance, Inc., or ESR. Sitting on the land — 0.58 acres in total — is an existing multi-family apartment building with eight residential units. According to Forsyth County Property Records, the building was constructed in 1955 and each of the eight units currently bring in $6,600 per year — for a potential total of $52,800. The land is located in the Northwest Ward, represented by Councilmember Jeff MacIntosh.
Prior to the decision, council went into closed session. Upon their return to the chambers, MacIntosh read a statement before councilmembers made their decisions.
The acquired property will be sold “as soon as possible,” MacIntosh told the room.
The council meeting agenda documents also state that the city will “immediately begin the process to convey the property to another entity with restrictions that ensure the units remain affordable.”
Both pieces of property were sold to ESR in 1993. According to the city, ESR received a grant that year from the city for $300,000, allowing them to purchase the property and complete repairs. The city forgave $235,000 of the grant in 2008, while $65,000 is still owed to the city. However, the $65,000 was scheduled to be forgiven at the end of next year, so staff recommended that council waive collecting the money at closing.
ESR will still owe the city money from a loan they received in 2022 to make improvements at the subject property — including replacing the roof, HVAC and gutters. This loan isn’t scheduled to be forgiven until January 2029. ESR will need to pay off this loan — all $95,598 of it — at closing since it was granted so recently.
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