Oct 24

Gandolf Group – One of America’s Leading Affordable Housing Developers!

An investment group with previous experience in the  creation of assisted-living facilities in the greater Minnesota area through a company called Prairie Senior Cottages. Gandolf’s initial management team consisted of managers with several years experience in both the real estate market and the affordable housing industry. Gandolf’s primary mission is to develop affordable housing projects in the central United States. To date, Gandolf has developed projects in Kentucky, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

Property Insight: Developer looking for ways to provide affordable housing


In 2004, Gandolf’s plans call for developing additional projects in North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee and to further penetrate into the Southeast and far western states.

Gandolf has experience in developing both senior and family affordable housing projects. Gandolf’s management team has previous experience in the development of affordable housing projects in Oklahoma, Arizona, Kansas, West Virginia, and Kentucky. We have joint ventured projects with local non-profits and housing authorities.

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Typically Gandolf forms a separate partnership for each property with a newly formed General Partner and another of Gandolf’s entities serves as the developer.

Oct 23

Gandolf Group!

Gandolf was formed in August 2000, by hiring a management team with several years experience in the affordable housing industry. Its owner, PSC Funding, is an investment company with experience in the  creation of assisted-living facilities in the greater Minnesota area through a sister company, Prairie Senior Cottages.

Prairie Senior Cottages operates dementia facilities in Willmar, Alexandria and Hutchinson, Minnesota. They are currently building, or planning to build,  in other locations, primarily in Minnesota.  The current CEO was previously involved with Kensington Cottages, an assisted living company,  that sold out in 1998 in a multi-million dollar transaction to another national assisted-living company.
Prairie Senior Cottages of Isanti opens its doors
PSC Funding began Gandolf Group in order to complement their existing assisted living company. The business plan for Gandolf Group includes the development of affordable housing, primarily through the federal tax credit program, for families and seniors.   Tim Oliver, a successful real estate investor, provides the overall leadership for both companies. To provide day to day management to Gandolf,  PSC Funding hired two experienced affordable housing executives, Roger G. Peterson and Bruce E. Larson to form the initial management team for Gandolf.

Oct 22

Put Our Development Team To Work For You

Gandolf has put together one of the most experienced development teams in the country. Our team includes some of the top-rated professionals in the tax credit housing industry.

CONTRACTORS

Gandolf normally uses local contractors for each of its developments. For example, in Bismarck, North Dakota, we used Northwest Contracting, one of the top contractors in the Bismarck market. They understood the local market and brought a great group of subcontractors to the job. In Rapid City, SD we are using G.A. Barber Construction. Both firms represent one of the best contractors in their market.

In some markets where local contractors are busy or where we need to meet project budgets and we aren’t able to do this through local sources, we have used national companies, who enable us to bring projects in on budget. These companies also enable us to bring in subcontractors from outside the area, as necessary, if local contractors are too busy to meet the deadlines required by a tax credit reservation.

ARCHITECTURAL

Robert Ready, President and Principal of Ready Architectural Associates, Inc., of Minneapolis, has sole responsibility for managing all facets of the company’s business which consists of the delivery of architectural, construction management and land planning services.

Areas of specialization include affordable housing for the frail elderly and developmentally disabled, renovation/adaptive reuse of commercial and multi-family residential structures, and construction management.   Additional areas of service include development planning, site planning facility programming, space planning, land design, urban design, and historic preservation.

Mr. Ready had extensive experience in managing and directing all real estate development activities of the Kensington Corporation, a company that specialized in the development of housing for the frail elderly.  He recently has prepared the construction documents and coordinated the construction process for over 500 affordable housing units for the Gandolf Group. He also has extensive site planning experience with major mixed-use developments representing both private developers and government entities.  He is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Board, is registered in a number of states and is a nationally certified planner.

MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS

Allman & Associates, Inc. of Rochester, Minnesota is an experienced Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineering consulting firm. They have designed over 500 units for Gandolf Group and have been part of the Architectural team since the start. Developers of adaptive-reuse and historic preservations projects themselves, they understand first hand the delicate balance of timely, cost effective, high quality design that goes into these projects. As veterans of several thousand projects in most states across the nation, Allman & Associates can be trusted to get it right the first time. while meeting the client’s budget, schedule and fee criteria.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

Currently, Gandolf Group seeks reputable, experienced third party management firms with extensive experience in the management and lease up of tax credit properties.   We believe that marketing and management efficiencies can best be achieved by working with companies that have a strong presence in, and understanding of, the markets they serve.

A sample of the management companies we currently use are:

  1. Brandon Heights Village – Bismarck, ND – Hendricks Property Mgmt
  2. South Glen Village – Minot, ND – Minot Housing Authority
  3. Cottages of Henderson – Henderson, KY – Terra Management

TAX CREDIT LEGAL COUNSEL

Faegre and Benson is Gandolf’s primary outside legal counsel.   The firm offers clients 475 lawyers in a full range of practice groups, with experience handling legal matters throughout the United States, as well as Europe and Asia. Established in Minneapolis in 1886 as Cobb & Wheelwright, the firm has evolved into one of the 100 largest law firms in the U.S., with offices in Minnesota, Colorado, Iowa, London, Frankfurt and Shanghai. From these locations, the firm has served clients in nearly every U.S. state, and in more than 60 countries. The firm is the second-largest law firm in Minnesota and one of the largest firms in the Rocky Mountain region.
Numerous attorneys in the firm assist with tax, real estate, public finance, and other aspects of affordable housing development.  Our primary contact in the firm is Angela M. Christy, an attorney with fifteen years experience in affordable housing who is highly regarded in the industry.   Together, with her Tax Credit Team, Angela Christy has consulted on over 3,000 Low Income Housing Tax Credit units.

When we have specific issues regarding HUD policies or more technical tax credit matters we consult with Sheldon Schreiberg of Pepper, Hamilton, LLP, Washington, D.C. and Jerome A. Breed, of Powell Goldstein, Frazer and Murphy, LLP, Washington, D.C.

TAX CREDIT ACCOUNTING

Presently, we are using the real estate division of  Eide Bailly, LLP on most of our projects. They are a large Midwest accounting firm with a specialty in affordable housing.

In addition, we have used Reznick, Fedder & Silverman who have served as the accounting firm on some of our previously developed projects.   We have also used Novogradac & Co., LLP on a few of our previously projects.   Both firms are recognized nationally as industry leaders and cutting edge in the structuring and use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits.   They are frequently consulted on LIHTC technical issues by the Internal Revenue Service, Security Exchange Commission and industry groups.

MARKET STUDIES

The Company retains industry experts, such as Danter, AdMark and National Survey Systems, for market studies as directed by state or local agencies.   Their expertise assists the Company to determine markets where there is sufficient demand for our product.

Oct 21

Gandolf’s Target Market Is Growing Fast

The ever-increasing need for affordable housing in America has created a strong demand for both family and senior independent-living housing.

Affordable housing is especially needed for “baby-boomers” who are rapidly approaching retirement age. Gandolf understands this niche market.  Demand studies generated by local and regional governments throughout the country repeatedly indicate a severe shortage of quality, affordable housing to satisfy existing demand by seniors for affordable housing.
Affordable Housing
The typical Gandolf  senior resident earns 60% or less of the area average household income – often significantly less than 60%.  The typical Gandolf senior resident will spend between thirty and forty percent (30% – 40%) of household income on rent and utilities.  The typical annual household income for a senior  ranges from  $15,000 to $35,000.  These are independent senior citizens who are retired, live on social security, who may have a small pension and limited assets, but are healthy and want to live independently.   They are not yet in need of congregate or managed care.

The need for low to moderate income family housing is also well documented.  Many communities across the country are facing barriers to economic development because there is insufficient affordable housing for families earning moderate incomes.  Typically, these families are spending from forty to fifty percent (40% – 50%) of their income for housing.  The typical Gandolf  family will have an annual income from $18,000 to $35,000.  They may be employed full time, many with two adult workers paying taxes and supporting a family.

Finally, the supply of affordable housing is shrinking due to market rate conversions of existing affordable housing.  Many providers of affordable housing, who used low interest rate HUD financing, have been exiting the affordable housing market and converting their projects to market rates.   This is a result of expiring obligations to provide units at below market rate under the HUD financing program and the strength of the rental market.

Oct 19

Workforce Housing

Gandolf Group Experienced In Creating Workforce Housing

Gandolf Group has created workforce housing in several communities. If your community is looking for workforce housing, let Gandolf put together a proposed development for your community. Affordable housing is needed in many communities for new teachers, fireman, policeman and other entry level positions.

We have created workforce housing in a variety of communities in states including Minot, ND, Mandan, ND, Grand Forks, ND, Burlington, IA, River Falls, WI and Rapid City, SD. We are in the process of creating additional workforce housing in other states including Tennessee, Illinois, Nebraska and Arizona.  If your community is growing with jobs, many times the biggest problem is that workers can’t find affordable rental housing. Gandolf can put together a development for your community to insure that employers had adequate housing for their employees.

Oct 17

Gandolf Can Help You Launch Your Project…

Looking To Develop An Affordable Housing Project…

Gandolf has experience in several states in developing affordable housing projects. We have assisted several non-profits and housing authorities with developing projects.

We can save you time and money as either a developer or a joint-venture partner for your project. Is your mission developing affordable housing but you lack the expertise? Let us

supplement your skills and talents. We have successfully developed over 1,500 units of affordable housing in various parts of the country. Our development team provides the expertise you need to get your project off the ground.

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A recent example of a joint venture that developed needed affordable housing for a community was in Minot, North Dakota.

Gandolf was asked to develop an affordable housing project in cooperation with the Minot Housing Authority. Construction was completed in November 2002 on this 48 unit family project. The project was structured as a joint-venture with the Minot Housing Authority where Gandolf served as the developer and the Minot Housing Authority serves as the owner.

Do you have a project where you need development expertise? If so, contact us today at (952)543-2455.

Oct 16

Investment Opportunities

From time to time Gandolf has investment opportunities in which private investors may take an equity position in real estate. These investments normally would be located in one of the states where we are currently active, e.g. North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Tennessee, Kentucky or Arkansas.

For example, we are continually approached about purchasing an existing apartment building which needs to be remodeled or to purchase land in a highly desirable location. In order to react to these opportunities we are in the process of establishing a pool of private investors who would be willing to participate in these opportunities.

If you would have an interest in participating in real estate related investment opportunities of this nature, please give us call at 952-543-2455 or send us an email. We will identify the type of opportunities you would be interested in reviewing and add you to the list of investors who are interested in real estate related opportunities.

Oct 15

Neighborhood Reinvestment

For additional resources visit their website.

Property Development Resources:

Community Development Corporations and Smart Growth: Putting Policy into Practice

Ocean City Development Corporation Façade Improvement Program, Smart Growth Communities

Elements of a Marketing Strategy
Employer-Assisted Housing: Competitiveness Through Partnership
Expiring Affordability of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Properties
Facts: Getting Your Message Heard – A Comprehensive Guide to Media Relations
Financial Fitness Education for Potential Homebuyers: A Start-Up Guide for NWOs
How to Be Your Own Developer: Making the Development Decision
Loan Closing: A Workbook on Executing the Documents and Transferring the Funds
Loan Origination: A Workbook on Gathering and Verifying the Information
Loan Underwriting: A Workbook on Analyzing and Committing to Lend Workbook 2
Low-Income Housing Tax Credits: A Guide for Community-Based Organizations
Managing Executive Transitions
Mortgage Lending: An Introduction for Community-Based Organizations
NeighborWorks Bright Ideas
NeighborWorks Multifamily Initiative Brochure
Turning Brownfields into Vital Community Assets: A Guide for Community-Based Orgs
Understanding Predatory Lending: Moving Toward a Common Definition and Workable Solutions
Winning Strategies: Best Practices in Home Ownership Promotion

Oct 14

Primary Rental Products

Gandolf’s developments offer two alternative developments to best fit the community and resident needs.  The first is a New England style “cottage,” with groups of units set to create a friendly community of residents in similar life situations, built on ground level with no stairs, each unit having its own entrance with a private porch.

For sites which offer less space, we provide a two to four story apartment-style building with elevators for easy access and meeting areas which foster a sense of community.  Our multi-story product ranges for a 600 square foot one bedroom to a 990 square foot three bedroom.

Norman Ok Unit Attached Garage

Gandolf’s  cottage-style  concept has proven to be extremely successful because we can offer seniors and families an attractive, spacious, quality, maintenance free alternative to home ownership at below market rates.  Cottages range from 670 square foot one bedroom unit to over 1,050 square foot three bedroom unit.

Developments typically range from 48 units to 120  units.   Each site is sufficient to provide ample green space, with 8 to 10 units per acre (cottage style) being a general rule.

Each development  with 60 or more units has its own community center to encourage social activities and to coordinate social services for the residents.  Refuse and recycling collection is enclosed in storage buildings, and the grounds are kept in a park-like state of grooming.   Walking trails, gardens, and recreation activities designed for seniors also create a sense of community.

Family projects may also include walking trails, gardens, and outdoor picnic areas, as well as appropriate youth related recreational amenities including tot lots, basketball courts, and swings.  The entire site is graded and built to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Attached and detached garages are normally provided at a minimal additional cost for our cottage style developments.  Ample outdoor parking is also available.

Minot Kitchen

All units are equipped with a range, range hood and fan, refrigerator, garbage disposal, dishwasher, air conditioner, high-energy efficient furnace and washer/dryer hookups.  The units have ample cupboard and closet space, all designed for ease of use.  Extra care is taken to insulate all common walls against sound.  In our cottage developments all units are fully accessible, handicapped adaptable and secure.

Quality of construction is important to Gandolf,  The Company not only builds and leases these units, but remains an active owner for a minimum of 15 years during the tax credit recapture period.  Gandolf developments are designed to fit within the surrounding community as well as satisfy state and local building codes.  Energy efficiency is stressed, to lower both Gandolf  operating costs and those utility costs paid directly by the resident.  Construction utilizes high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, and high energy rated insulation.  Long term ease of maintenance and appearance are paramount in material selection.

We select communities that have a strong need, as well as support,  for affordable housing.   We attempt to select a location that is close to amenities (schools, grocery stores, pharmacies,  medical care facilities, busline, etc.) and is residential in character.   Where and when available, we attempt to bring in voluntary services from senior centers and the medical, legal and social services professional communities.   Out goal is to provide our tenants with a great living environment.