The Urban Residential Finance Authority approved Thursday a proposal to issue up to $15.6 million in bonds for the planned redevelopment of the Trestletree Village apartment complexes in Ormewood Park and Grant Park.
The approval is just the first step in the project.
The finance authority, which is part of Invest Atlanta, the city's chief economic development body, will have to take a second vote — possibly in March if not earlier — of approval to authorize the bonds' issuance.
The redevelopment would begin in April and is slated to be complete within a 12-month period.
Trestletree Village includes the 80-unit Trestletree North at 794 Ormewood Ave. SE in Grant Park and the 108-unit Trestletree South at 904 Confederate Court SE in Ormewood Park.
The properties, which were built in 1949, are all federally subsidized affordable housing.
Community Housing Concepts, a national nonprofit organization also based in Denver, plans a $22.8 million renovation of the properties and sought Invest Atlanta's aid with the bond issuance defray some of those costs.
The total redevelopment costs, which translates to about $52,000 per unit, include acquisition, setting aside funds for an operating reserve and other expenses.
The residents will remain in their units during the renovations according to company plans. Ten units will undergo more extensive work make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Families in those 10 units will be placed in vacant apartments or temporarily housed in extended-stay hotel properties, the company said.
Trestletree has been the source of many quality of life issues and complaints over the years ranging from noise to shootings.
When Community Housing Concepts first announced its planned redevelopment of the property, some residents in surrounding Grant Park and Ormewood Park hoped it would be a complete tear-down.
They were hoping for the properties to be replaced with a mixed-income development along the lines of the transformation wthat occurred at the former East Lake Meadows housing projects in East Lake.
Invest Atlanta and Atlanta City Councilwoman Carla Smith, whose District 1 includes Grant Park and Ormewood Park, pursued that idea, too, particularly since they're near the Atlanta BeltLine.
But Dawn J. Luke, Invest Atlanta's managing director of housing finance told East Atlanta Patch a complete tear-down and rebuild is not possible of the nature of the Community Housing Concepts' 20-year contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Additionally, HUD only gave the company a year to make the renovations, Luke said, explaining the changes made in East Lake and some other housing projects in the city were possible because those were governed by the Atlanta Housing Authority.
Officials also were concerned that a total demolition and rebuild would displace those families and be disruptive to their kids in terms of schools, especially since there's not many multi-family properties in the immediate area.
For its part, Community Housing Concepts, which has 1,800 units across 18 properties in several states, says it wants to contribute not detract from the neighborhoods.
"We are hoping to make the improvements and we look forward to being a part of the community," Jennifer Cloud, a company spokeswoman, told Patch.
The company has meet with neighborhood leaders from both communities as well as Smith and Maj. Keith Meadows, the Atlanta Police Department's Zone 6 commander, to address quality of life and safety concerns.
As a result of those discussions, the company has hired a new security firm and is taking other steps, such as implementing new rules for residents and visitors to govern what will be acceptable behavior.
Cloud said the company is committed to being responsive to its tenants and the neighborhoods at large.
To that end she said anyone with concerns should:
- Call Melissa Brown, the community manager at 404.622.7674 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If they feel their concerns haven't been sufficiently addressed Cloud said people should call the company directly at 303.226.9121 or e-mail her directly at email@example.com.
The company also has agreed to sign a "Good Neighbor Agreement" with the surrounding communities. Such agreements spell out the neighborhoods' expectations of the company and other businesses, such as gas stations and liquor stores often sign them as a measure of good faith.
At Trestletree North, the company agreed to build a clubhouse with a computer lab for the residents, Luke said.
Given the concerns, members of the Invest Atlanta board, said the plan is a good one for Grant Park, Ormewood Park and Trestletree residents themselves.
Board member Anna Foote called the plan "great collabrative work," adding "I'nm very appreciative that we've come to this excellent solution."
Similarly, fellow board member Joyce Sheperd, who also is on the Atlanta City Council, called it a "win-win" for everyone.
Smith, who led the meetings between the company and police, said it also has agreed to meet with her and the neighborhoods on a quarterly basis to have ongoing discussions about any concerns that may arise.
She pledged to keep them to their promises.
"Now that we've reached the point that we're at, I'm hopeful that this company will work with the neighborhoods and the residents that are there," Smith said.
See More on Patch
- Ormewood Park Playground Gets $15K KaBoom! Grant
- Walmart is Anchor Tenant for Glenwood Place Project
- The Ormewood School and Ormewood Presbyterian Church To Build New Neighborhood Park
- Financing Authority Approves Bond for Trestletree Village Project
- Second Vote on Trestletree Village Expected Thursday
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