PHENIX CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY
5th Avenue and 17th Street
Mary E. Mayrose
Phenix City Housing Authority
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A HOLIDAY TO REMEMBER:
WHITEWATER VILLAGE BREAKS GROUND IN DOWNTOWN PHENIX CITY
(PHENIX CITY, AL, DECEMBER 3, 2018)—O tidings of comfort and joy, Phenix City Housing Authority (PCHA), is breaking new ground at its oldest public housing development. Just in time for the holidays, Executive Director Mary E. Mayrose is set to announce the new construction of Whitewater Village, the first on-site revitalization phase of Riverview Court Apartments and the first major redevelopment of the Authority’s historic public housing complex in more than 65 years. As part of the Whitewater Village Groundbreaking Ceremony, all of PCHA’s helpers will be on hand at the corner of 5th Avenue and 17th Street on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, at 11:00 AM to celebrate this monumental feat.
“The excitement we’ve generated in the neighborhood with our redevelopment plans is overwhelming,” said Mayrose, “but the support we’ve received from our partnership with the City of Phenix City, and our stakeholders, is inspiring. It makes us all realize that we truly are reshaping and redesigning this community, not just a housing site.”
Keeping with its motto, “It’s a new day in affordable housing for Phenix City,” it’s out with the old and in with the new. PCHA has demolished 20 buildings of 104 obsolete housing units to make way for 82 newly constructed apartments under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversion program. With its development partner, Hollyhand Companies, Inc., PCHA has successfully secured $1.3 million in 9% low-income housing tax credits from the Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) and partnerships with Wells Fargo, Bellwether Enterprise and Freddie Mac. Construction will take place over the next 18 months and is expected to last through December 2019.
Whitewater will feature one, two and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 850 to 1,500 square feet. It will boast a community room, outdoor playground, covered picnic pavilion, computer center, exercise fitness room and a gazebo. Forty-seven of the units will be developed under RAD and the remaining 35 units will be traditional Project Based Section 8 housing. The RAD conversion allows PCHA to leverage is public/private debt and equity to create a more modern housing stock such as Whitewater, which will become the crown jewel of the Authority’s housing portfolio. Originally built in 1940 along the Chatahoochee River, the revitalization of Riverview’s existing 306 units also capitalizes on the current transformation of the Downtown neighborhood and the momentum already generated by the City of Phenix City and private investors. Their efforts have spurred economic development in the once downtrodden community. Whitewater Village – as well as the site’s future phases – is expected to blend in seamlessly with the other major commercial and residential improvements in the area.
“This is just the beginning of our overall vision of a mixed-income and mixed-use development. We foresee our next phases, including market rate housing with potential river views and retail opportunities, like coffee shops, book stores and restaurants,” said Mayrose.
Founded in 1938, the mission of the Phenix City Housing Authority is to provide safe, affordable, quality housing free from discrimination, and centered on customer service, while providing opportunities for economic independence. Hollyhand Development, LLC specializes in all facets of affordable housing finance, development, construction and management using the low-income housing tax credit program. Formed in 2003, it is the development affiliate of Doug Hollyhand Realty, Inc.