Dare commissioners to hear report on candidates to build affordable housing

Published 10:54 am Thursday, February 17, 2022

Dare County Board of Commissioners will gather Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022 in a special session to discuss affordable housing.

The full board will hear from its Capital Improvements Planning Committee about the presentations from two corporate candidates which want to build affordable housing in Dare County using $35 million provided by the General Assembly.

The board’s committee listened to presentations from the two candidates on Feb. 11.

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The two candidates are structured differently.

Coastal Affordable Housing, LLC was incorporated in North Carolina Nov. 9, 2021. It is a North Carolina-based business consortium, with its architect and contractor and others as principals in the project.

At the committee meeting, architect Robert Ferris, contractor Aaron Thomas with general contractor Metcom participated in the presentation. Fred Mills Jr. with United Property Management offered comments.

Marion Warren started the presentation with introductions of the assembled team. Also attending the presentation for Coastal were Doug Brindley, who is in a joint venture with United Property Management, Joe Niggel, a managing director at debt underwriter Piper Sandler, former Dare County commissioner Mike Johnson and J. Jordan Hennessy, with Pamlico Management Group/EJE Dredging Service.

Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. includes businesses that develop, construct and manage affordable housing communities. It is employee-owned and vertically-integrated. The companies are named Woda Cooper Development Inc., Woda Construction, Inc. and Woda Management and Real Estate, LLC, all of which are headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

Attending the committee meeting on behalf of Woda Cooper were Jeffrey J. Woda, director emeritus of Woda, Denis Blackburne, senior vice-president of development, Garrett LeDonne, vice president of finance, Joseph Anlauf with Anlauf Engineering PLLC, Kitty Hawk, and James Pianka.

Both candidates have experience in building multi-story affordable housing types including garden apartments, walk-ups and corridor projects. Both candidates provided numerous examples of completed housing projects.

Both candidates have experience building in North Carolina.

Both candidates work with communities.

Coastal stressed its principals and corporate participants are North Carolina-based and promised to deliver 400 units by summer 2023. Its presentation theme is “we are problem solvers.”

Woda Cooper emphasized it likes to create quality workforce housing and to stay with a project for the long haul with a management team for each property. Woda Cooper talked about financing, including using its own money. It already has a site under contract in Nags Head.

Woda Cooper estimated six months for permits and a year to build.

Toward the end of its presentation and as announced, Coastal asked for a closed session to discuss its ideas for financing.

Attending the meeting were committee members Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robert Woodard Sr., board Vice Chairman Wally Overman and commissioner Rob Ross along with county manager Robert Outten, finance director David Clawson and human resources director Elizabeth Reilly. Also attending were commissioner Jim Tobin, board clerk Cheryl C. Anby, project and purchasing manager Dustin Peele, public information officer Dorothy Hester and Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon, as well as Harry Schiffman, Lela Schiffman and Eddie Goodrich.

The Thursday, Feb. 17 meeting starts at 2 p.m.

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