October 3, 2019, Columbus, OH…Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. earned two prestigious distinctions at the 2019 West Virginia Housing Awards Ceremony in Charleston, West Virginia, on September 20, 2019. The ceremony was held as part of the state’s annual housing conference Upward Together sponsored in part by the West Virginia Housing Development Fund. The honors included the following recognitions:
Jeffrey J. Woda, Principal of Woda Cooper Companies, Inc., was named to the West Virginia Affordable Housing Hall of Fame. The award honors an individual who has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to affordable housing and whose career leadership has achieved important and lasting results in the community, according to organizers.
For nearly three decades, Mr. Woda has been a leader in the affordable housing industry in West Virginia and beyond. Mr. Woda grew up in rural southeastern Ohio around his family’s homebuilding businesses and earned an accounting degree at Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia. He then worked as a Certified Public Accountant at Ernst and Whinney (later Ernst and Young) in Charleston, West Virginia, before starting Woda Development and Construction, Inc., in 1990 to construct affordable housing communities and single-family homes. Mr. Woda utilized the emerging Low Income Housing Tax Credit program to develop much-needed affordable housing in West Virginia and has developed over 40 residential communities in West Virginia, consisting of more than 2,000 affordable housing units within the state. The company received its first tax credit allocation in 1992 for Dutch Ridge, a 24-unit multifamily property in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Woda Cooper Principal David Cooper, Jr., who with Senior Vice President Thomas Simons co-nominated Mr. Woda for the Hall of Fame recognition, served as the company’s legal counsel from its inception and joined Mr. Woda full time in 2003 and formed the partnership that would become The Woda Group, Inc., and eventually Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. The business steadily grew to provide affordable rental homes for seniors, working families and others seeking safe, appealing, and high-quality affordable housing. Woda Cooper Companies now operates in 15 states in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, and has a portfolio of more than $1.5 billion in affordable housing developments.
“To be honored by the affordable housing industry in West Virginia where I lived for many years is truly a gratifying and appreciated occasion. I am very proud of our firm’s work throughout the state to better the lives of families and individuals, including seniors, who are seeking high quality affordable housing,” said Mr. Woda.
The second honor came as Woda Cooper’s Boury Lofts, Wheeling, WV, was named the 2019 West Virginia Housing Award Winner at the same ceremony.
This annual award recognizes organizations or collaborative efforts that have developed successful projects in the field of housing.
Woda Cooper transformed the 1890s Boury Building, that once housed a biscuit factory and several other businesses, into 72 two- and three-bedroom loft style apartments now called Boury Lofts. To complete the development, Woda Cooper sought and obtained new markets tax credits, state and federal historic tax credits and worked with a local historic architect to design appealing, modern living spaces while retaining the building’s character and charm.
Apartments feature original timber and brick with huge windows bringing natural light into the dramatic loft spaces, some two-story. A historic railroad track is incorporated into the design of the building’s fitness center. Other amenities include two elevators, two TV rooms, a coffee lounge, and a large reception area.
“What was once an eyesore downtown has now been transformed into a gorgeous rental community for business professionals, hospital workers, and others,” said Mr. Simons.
Boury Lofts was made possible through the valued financial support from PNC Real Estate, RBC Capital Markets, WesBanco Bank, Inc., plus additional support from the City of Wheeling and the Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED). The Wheeling Nailers hockey team has been an anchor tenant since the property was opened in early 2017.
About Woda Cooper Companies, Inc.
Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. and its affiliates are experienced developers, general contractors, and property managers specializing in the design, construction, and management of affordable multi-family apartments, senior communities, and single-family homes. Considered leading experts in the affordable housing industry, the Woda Cooper team is known for producing and maintaining high quality affordable housing. Affordable Housing Finance ranked the firm 13th overall among Developers and 26th overall among Owners in its April/May 2019 issue. Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. has developed and currently manages more than 300 communities and 12,000 units, operating in 15 states. In addition to its Columbus headquarters, the firm has offices in Savannah, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Shelbyville, Kentucky; Annapolis, Maryland; Mackinaw City, Michigan; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Norfolk, Virginia. For more information, call (614) 396-3200 or visit www.wodagroup.com