Ribbon cutting on renovated senior high-rise in Towson set for Wednesday by the Baltimore Sun

by Margarita Cambest

TABCO Towers, a 200-unit affordable senior housing project in downtown Towson, will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for its remodeled apartments Wednesday.

The complex, at 305 E. Joppa Road, is a 22-story residential complex developed by owner Wishrock Investment Group, a national developer of affordable housing.

 Renovations to the multi-family, affordable housing community for households that make less than 60 percent of the area’s median income—or about $75,000— began in late 2015, Wishrock director of development Bryan Shumway said.

Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting will mark the completion of more than $10 million in improvements to the property, according to Shumway.

Wishrock added a community center and a second laundry facility, and renovated the facility’s elevators, common areas and energy efficient heating and cooling units. Meanwhile, the apartment units received new kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and paint. The project was made possible by a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program known as the Rental Assistance Demonstration, which allows developers to work with housing authorities to create rental subsidies and preserve affordability, according to the HUD website.

“We bought the building two years ago from a local owner who at the time was marketing it nationally,” Shumway said. “We worked to preserve the affordability of the housing as an elderly housing project and were able to bring project-based Section 8 subsidies to allow the rents to stay affordable to the residents of the property.”

The company financed the redevelopment through tax-exempt bonds and low-income housing tax credits, Shumway said.

Additionally, the Baltimore County Council approved a payment in lieu of property taxes for the project in October 2015. Under Baltimore County Code, an organization that is exempt from local property taxes can negotiate a payment to compensate a local government for some or all of the property tax revenue that it loses.

Over the next 40 years, the owners of Tabco Towers will pay the county $275 per unit annually instead of property taxes. The payment will increase 3 percent each year— or 4 percent a year if the property is sold— according to Baltimore County Council records.

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks said he strongly supported the financial incentive as a way to rehabilitate what he called an “aging residential tower in Towson’s downtown core.”

Marks, a Republican who represents Towson, said he also participated in a meeting with residents about the renovation work.

“Many of the high-rises in Towson are approaching their half-century mark, which is why they need improvements like the work done at Tabco Towers,” Marks said in a Nov. 1 email.

The 10 a.m. ceremony will include speeches, a ribbon cutting, a tour of a renovated unit and light refreshments.