Affordable Housing Partners Break Ground at Burlington Commons

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Affordable Housing Partners Break Ground at Burlington Commons

Posted: 09/17/2020
Today, Mayor Indya Kincannon and 6th District City Councilwoman Gwen McKenzie joined Jake Varner and David Varner of Southeast Capital Group to ceremonially break ground on an affordable housing complex that will create 50 new apartments in East Knoxville. 

Burlington Commons groundbreaking

Also in attendance were 5th District City Council representative Charles Thomas, At-Large City Council representative Janet Testerman, and 1st District County Commissioner Dasha Lundy. 

Burlington Commons at 4530 Holston Drive will be two, three-story buildings comprised of 50 units: two efficiencies; two one-bed, one-bath units; 26 two-bed, one-bath units; and 20 three-bed, two-bath units. Plans also include a laundry room, community room, business center, fitness center and bicycle storage. A rendering of the complex is available at

In June, City Council approved allocating $1.47 million from the City’s Affordable Rental Development Fund (ARDF) toward the project by first-time affordable housing developer Southeast Capital LLC. 

The project’s estimated cost is $10.4 million, which, in addition to the City’s ARDF funds, will be financed with tax-credit equity provided by RBC Community Investments and additional financing by Churchill Stateside Group. Other partners on the project are Davie Construction, Bass Berry and Sims, Bunch Development Services and Smee Busby Architects. Developers expect the project to be completed in Fall of 2021. 

“These new apartments will help fill a gap in our city’s urgent need for affordable rental housing,” said Becky Wade, Director of the City’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Department (formerly Community Development). 

Located on KAT Bus Route 31, Burlington Commons will be close to the Asheville Highway Kroger and the Burlington Branch of the Knox County Public Library. Between 1962 and the late ‘80s, the property was the location of Ray’s Mobile Home Court, later Park. After a history of emergency repair and demolition orders by the City’s Codes Enforcement Department, the City condemned the property in 2016.

Burlington Commons’ units will be priced based on Fair Market Rent, minus an allowance for utilities. Qualifying renters will be those whose incomes are 80 percent or less of the area median income (AMI): $59,100 for a family of four ($53,200 for a three-person household; $47,300 for a two-person family; and $41,400 for a single household). The complex will accept tenants with Section 8 vouchers, who will pay no more than 30 percent of their adjusted income on rent and utilities. These families will qualify at 50 percent or less of the area median income.

The complex will maintain this pricing structure throughout its affordability period, which is 20 years.

Burlington Commons is the most recent affordable apartment complex to receive an allocation from the ARDF, which Mayor Madeline Rogero established in 2017 with an initial $2.5 million in the capital budget. Since that time, the City has allocated more than $12.6 million in local general funds for the development of new affordable rental housing. 

Two ARDF-funded projects have been completed this year: 

- Southside Flats, a 172-unit apartment complex in South Knoxville, developed by Nashville-based Elmington Capital Group, opened in April 2020.

- Twenty-four apartments at The Village at Holston Court, developed by Homesource East Tennessee, were completed in June. 

Three additional Elmington projects are currently under construction: the Flats at Pond Gap, Young High Flats, and a complex off Moss Grove Boulevard in Cedar Bluff. 

For additional information about the City’s efforts to develop affordable housing and additional programs and activities of the Housing and Neighborhood Development department, visit