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Community Development Week: Achievements Worth Noting 
Usually in mid-April, our Housing and Neighborhood Development department is busy with activities showcasing and celebrating the programs and community partnerships that support revitalization of our city’s low- to moderate-income neighborhoods during National Community Development Week.

This annual opportunity for people in the field to highlight their accomplishments feels like a massive thank you and high-five amongst regional and national colleagues engaged in housing programs and blight-remediation efforts that make a difference in so many communities nationwide. 

However, since COVID-19 changed everything a month ago, we’ve cancelled at least two ribbon cuttings and other events marking recent local achievements, and national #CDWeek activities are all online. In the spirit of adjusting to the new normal, let’s celebrate a couple of recent accomplishments virtually. 

Southside Flats

Southside Flats

Without an eagerly anticipated April 13 ribbon-cutting ceremony, Southside Flats is receiving its final touches and first residents. The 172-unit affordable housing complex, developed and managed by Elmington Capital Group, will have 84 one-bedroom units, 51 two-bedroom units and 37 three-bedroom units.

Elmington Vice President John Shepard reported that, as of this week, 23 units are occupied with 21 more leased and those tenants taking occupancy within the next 30 days.

Southside Flats

Southside Flats leasing office

“Construction and housing have been deemed essential services, so we have been able to keep working, with special health safeguards in place, including many of us working remotely,” he said. 

New residents with young children will receive welcome bags including information about school registration and after-school activities provided by Dogwood Elementary and the Great Schools Partnership. 

The complex, located on long-vacant land behind Shoney’s Restaurant on Chapman Highway, marks the first collaboration between the City of Knoxville and the Nashville-based housing developer, which has built and manages affordable housing in several other Southern cities. A post on the progress of Southside Flats, with photos, is available here

Southside Flats

The City supported the Southside Flats development with $360,000 from its Affordable Rental Development Fund and $540,000 in federal HOME funds. The remaining approximately $29 million is being funded with tax credits, bond financing and a deferred developer fee. 

Mayor Madeline Rogero established the ARDF in response to the community’s lack of affordable rental housing. During Mayor Rogero’s eight years in office, the City of Knoxville and its housing partners invested more than $236 million in the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing.

Commercial Façade Grants

While we planned to gather March 23 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 820 and 822 Sevier Avenue, it’s not too late to showcase this historic building transformed by owners Deborah and Ken Hill. 

820 Sevier Avenue

The City of Knoxville invested $50,000 in Commercial Façade Improvement Program funding for the exterior renovation of this structure. The Hills live upstairs, where there are also two short-term rental apartments, and Loveliest Bridal Boutique (at 822) and Sweetbriar Boutique (820 Sevier) inhabit the ground floor. 
The owners invested more than $1 million in the project. 
Several other buildings in the vicinity have been recipients of Commercial Façade funds, including: Computer Systems Plus, Honey Bee Coffee, The Landing House, Alliance Brewing and Hi-Wire Brewing. 

More to come

In the coming weeks and months, we look forward to celebrating additional community development efforts, including helping cut the ribbon on The Village at Holston Court with HomeSource East Tennessee and announcing the latest round of Historic Preservation funding
Posted by ptravis On 16 April, 2020 at 5:47 PM