Affordable high-rise in Midtown set for June grand (re)opening

Columbia Residential

After a brief hiatus from their affordable Midtown homes, residents of a high-rise at 10th and Juniper streets are moving back into spruced-up digs.

In 2015, the Atlanta Housing Authority teamed with developer Columbia Residential as part of an effort to renovate the Midtown apartment tower—built in 1974—to accommodate low-income seniors and people with disabilities.

When construction crews initially began milling about the area, some people worried longtime lower-income residents would be priced out of the building.

But on June 6, Columbia Residential will host the official grand opening of Tenth & Juniper, and the developer is glad to report the place will still entirely consist of affordable options.

Almost 40 percent of residents who had to move out when construction kicked off are returning to the building. That’s “nearly three times the national average” of people who get to come back after being displaced by similar construction, according to a press release distributed by the developer.

All of the residents were compensated for the cost of housing inconveniences (fees associated with dining and temporary lodging), and they were all invited to come back once renovations were complete, officials noted.

Of the 149 units in the apartment stack, 30 are earmarked for households that make 50 percent of the area median income. And 119 are reserved for families bringing in 60 percent of the AMI.

This renovation project, funded via a partnership of Wells Fargo, Sugar Creek Capital, and the AHA, has brought a new workout facility, business center, upgraded laundry options, an exam room, living room, recycling center, covered terrace, and an outdoor patio.

The work of Surber Barber Choate + Hertlein Architects, Long Engineering, and J.M. Wilkerson Construction Co., the housing block also underwent upgrades to its exterior, plumbing system, and electrical wiring, and it gained two new elevators and some windows, among other things.

Perhaps this can serve as an example that redevelopment doesn’t have to equal displacement in Atlanta.

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