Groundbreaking on $23 million housing community - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Groundbreaking on $23 million housing community

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Ceremonial groundbreaking at the new complex. Ceremonial groundbreaking at the new complex.
Artist rendering of the finished complex. Artist rendering of the finished complex.

The Montgomery Housing Authority (MHA) Tuesday joined Mayor Todd Strange and HUD Director Michael German of the Alabama Field Office to break ground on The Plaza at Centennial Hill, a $22.7 million revitalization effort that is expected to serve as the catalyst for the rejuvenation of the heart of Centennial Hill.

The 129-unit, mixed-income affordable housing community will replace the demolished Victor Tulane Court Public Housing development and is MHA's first public-private venture, leveraging City, State and federal funding. 

"The Plaza is the first step in changing the face of affordable housing in the City. We are proud to lead the development of this historic neighborhood and the quality of life of its future residents," said Evette Hester, Executive Director of the MHA.

Donning hard hats and with shovels in hand, officials stood side by side with residents in the neighborhood that was once synonymous with the Civil Rights Movement and  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Funding for the development, which marks a new beginning for this historic and important downtown neighborhood, came from City of Montgomery and housing authority funds, as well as equity raised through the sale of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Featuring both apartment flats and townhouses in two and three bedroom layouts, The Plaza at Centennial Hill will also include a community center where supportive services will be offered to Plaza residents as well as the community at large. 

MHA selected The Michaels Development Company, which is the nation's number one, privately held affordable housing developer, as its private sector partner for The Plaza at Centennial Hill. Professional property management will be offered by Michaels' sister company, Interstate Realty Management, ensuring that the community remains a quality asset to the neighborhood for years to come.  

 "We at the City of Montgomery are proud of the collaborative effort between the private sector and multiple public agencies to breathe new life into an area that has seen its better days," said Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. "This groundbreaking marks a new day for the Centennial Hill and Adams Avenue area of Montgomery." 

The construction, which is scheduled to be completed by June 2013, is expected to generate  jobs for local residents. The Michaels Development Company and the Montgomery Housing Authority selected a local company, Stallings and Sons, to serve as The General Contractor. Other partners include a local architect, W. Barry Robinson who is working with the Architect of Record, Torti Gallas and Partners, and Flower and White Engineering, which is providing civil engineering services. 

 "The Plaza is the foundation on which many families will build and strength prosperous lives. This development respects the expanded needs of housing communities to ensure that we thrive together for years to come," said John F. Knight Jr., Chairman of the Montgomery Housing Board of Commissioners.  

INFORMATION SOURCE: City of Montgomery

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