A 57-unit apartment complex slated for Mile Hill Drive in Port Orchard will receive city tax relief in exchange for some units being priced below market rates in an effort to expand affordable housing in the city.

Plisko Lane Apartments have been approved for the city’s Multi-Family Property Tax Exemption (MFTE) program, in which the developer of the apartments receives a tax incentive in exchange for the price of certain units below the market rate to allow low-income people to find accommodation in Port Orchard.

The pet-friendly resort units won’t be your average backyard apartment, the developer said, adding the hope is to fill the affordable housing shortage in Kitsap County.

“For a garden apartment, they have a more modern look, they look a bit more upscale,” said Bob Disney, the developer behind the Plisko Lane Apartments.

To be eligible for the program, 20% of development units must charge below market rent. In return, the developer will not have to pay property tax on the improvements to the land for 12 years, said Nick Bond, director of community development for Port Orchard.

City council voted to approve the exemption for the complex on Nov. 9.

“We are doing what we can to increase the supply of housing as there is clearly a housing shortage and that definitely adds to the housing supply in Port Orchard,” said Bond.

The two-building complex will contain one- to three-bedroom units.

Disney said all units will have air conditioning, storage lockers to rent, garages to rent, as well as electric vehicle charging stations. They will be modern apartments by design and could attract a younger clientele, he said.

Location can also be a draw, he said. The Plisko Apartments will be located on Plisko Lane and Mile Hill Drive, near the intersection of Mile Hill with Mitchell Avenue. The location is convenient for those using the ferry system or other public transportation. The complex is not far from South Kitsap High School and is within walking distance of some shops, he said.

He said his company has been looking for the right place to do it for some time.

“I love the Mile Hill neighborhood,” Disney said. “I love that there is Towne Square Mall across the street, which has just been purchased and is going to be renovated.”

Right now, Disney is awaiting permits and will likely begin the project in mid-January with around 18 months of completion.

Disney said building an apartment complex is a different project for the company, which tends to focus on building new single-family homes – around 25 to 30 units per year.

“There has been such a lack of affordable housing; it was something that we were able to put into this apartment complex, ”said Disney.

According to the city council’s agenda, the incentive program “will reduce the city’s property tax revenue for a period of 12 years for the proposed project. The construction of this apartment project will generate further income that could not otherwise be generated in the absence of this incentive. “

Port Orchard adopted the MFTE program in 2016, and in 2017 Olympic View Apartment Homes was approved for it.

The terms of the program are dictated by the state code. It allows developers of apartments and condominiums to apply for tax exemptions over eight or twelve years. Those with a 12-year exemption must market 20% of housing as affordable to low- and middle-income families.

In Kitsap, the town of Bainbridge Island implemented an exemption program last month, and the town of Bremerton has had a developer program since 2006.