Published On: Mon, Mar 15th, 2010
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New Apartment Complex underway in Cherokee

Groundbreaking held for Soco Creek Village Apartments in Wolfetown

By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF

Principal Chief Michell Hicks (left with shovel) and Vice Chief Larry Blythe (right with shovel) broke ground on the Soco Creek Village Apartments on Friday, Mar. 9 as state and tribal officials look on. (Photos by Scott McKie B.P./One Feather)

 Ground was broken on a new and affordable housing complex in the Wolfetown Community on Friday, Mar. 9.  The Soco Creek Village Apartments, a 60-unit complex, will feature two-, three- and four-bedroom floor plans to choose from and is expected to be completed by late October or early November. 

“We’re looking at getting our tribal members some affordable housing,” said Vice Chief Larry Blythe during Friday’s ceremony.  He said the project has been in the works for over two years and is “out of the norm from what we’ve been doing.” 

Principal Chief Michell Hicks thanked Vice Chief Blythe for his role in the project and said, “As you look at the things happening in Cherokee – it’s not about spending money, it’s about investing in the people of this Tribe.” 

Chief Hicks speaks during Friday's event.

Chief Hicks said he is proud of the construction going on the reservation.  “There’s not a whole lot going on (statewide), but there is in Cherokee.” 

N.C. Senate Majority Leader Mark Nesbitt (D – 49th District) attended Friday’s event and commented, “I want to congratulate you all on what you have going here.  This is the first time I’ve seen or heard construction in a year and I go all over the state.” 

Sen. Nesbitt said the Tribe should be commended for keeping construction going while the rest of the state “has stopped”.  “You’ve invested in your people and that’s exactly where it ought to go.”

Sen. John Snow (D – 50th District) said, “You are the economic driving force of our community.”  Pointing to a backhoe moving dirt on the site where the future apartments will stand, he said, “You hear the noise, you hear the sound of progress.”

Yellowhill Rep. David Wolfe (left) and Vice Chairman B. Ensley look at the floor plans prior to Friday's groundbreaking.

Bob Kucab serves as the executive director of Administration for the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency which is charged with helping to create affordable housing projects in the state.  “Our role is to provide the tools by which developments like this can occur.” 

He said nothing has excited him more than the Soco Creek project.  “It is absolutely terrific.  Being a partner with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians – what a great honor, what a great opportunity.” 

Cindy Tiede, with Community Investment Corporation of the Carolinas (CICCAR), said her organization has been involved in 250 projects around the state and commented, “We are absolutely delighted to be working with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  Thank you for the opportunity.” 

The entire project will cost around $6.7million and will be funded through three sources including:  a first mortgage from CICCAR for just under $1million, a $1.5 million North Carolina Tax Credit loan which is a 30-year deferred loan that will not have to be paid on for that period as long as the housing remains affordable, and the remaining $4.2 million from an exchange loan from the N.C Housing Finance Agency. 

Soco Creek Village Apartments will feature three floor plans to choose from including: 
1. 982 square feet, two bedrooms, one full bath – 12 mo. Lease for $342-$478/month
2. 1,201 square feet, three bedrooms, two full baths – 12 mo. Lease for $391-$550/month
3. 1,369 square feet, four bedrooms, two full baths – 12 mo. Lease for $615/month

For leasing info, call (919) 755-9155.

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