City picks partner for Daniel Brooks project
The High Point Housing Authority will partner with a South Carolina company in the proposed Daniel Brooks Homes revitalization project.
The authority’s Board of Commissioners recently voted to enter into contract negotiations with Humanities Foundation of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., as its developer/partner in devising a redevelopment strategy for the sprawling southeast High Point public housing complex, the original portion of which was built in 1942.
The authority is trying to land a federal grant to fund a plan for repairs and upgrades to the aging complex, which now totals 246 units. Authority officials said their goal is to “transform the neighborhood, not just Daniel Brooks, into a true neighborhood of choice.”
Daniel Brooks is the second public housing community in the city to be targeted for revitalization in the past decade. Clara Cox Homes, also built in the early 1940s, was demolished in 2005. A new community that was built in its place, Park Terrace, opened in 2011.
Parts of Daniel Brooks are in need of rehabilitation, but City Councilman Jeff Golden, who represents Ward 1, where Daniel Brooks Homes is located, said he doesn’t think the upcoming project will involve demolition and rebuilding.
“I don’t know if it’s going to be on that scale, because I don’t think they’re going to be tearing it down. I think they’re going to be more facelifting and stuff like that. But I think the existing buildings will still stay in place,” said Golden, who serves as the council’s liaison to the authority. “I haven’t heard anything about moving tenants, so I think they’re going to do all this stuff while the people are still in place, from what I’m understanding.”
Humanities Foundation is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing that has built more than 1,400 rental and homeownership units for low- to moderate-income individuals in communities throughout the South, according to its website.
The foundation was chosen from three firms that responded to the authority’s request for companies interested in taking on the project, which will entail planning, design and implementation of a redevelopment strategy.
If a contract with Humanities Foundation is awarded, they would work with the authority in seeking U.S. Housing and Urban Development funding for a Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grant in the spring of 2013.
The planning process could take two or three years while officials search for sources of funding for redevelopment, which they don’t expect to begin until at least 2015 or 2016.
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