In The News

- 2014 -

Aug
2014
From the Tudor-style neighborhoods of Avondale Estates to the stoic corridors of the King Center, from young Brookhaven to historic Candler Park, developers are spending millions... read more

MARTA stations draw developer interest

From the Tudor-style neighborhoods of Avondale Estates to the stoic corridors of the King Center, from young Brookhaven to historic Candler Park, developers are spending millions of dollars and swallowing up dozens of acres at or near MARTA stations.
It marks a shift in Atlanta development as companies look to save money and attract key workers by building offices and homes near transportation hubs.
Many young workers prefer to live in more urban areas, are more likely to eschew cars and demand public transit and walkable communities. Major corporations seeking top talent have taken note.
 
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May
2014
Wal-Mart will open a 150,000 square foot supercenter on the site of the old Baker High School just off Victory Drive, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson announced today. Ground is expected to... read more

New Wal-Mart Super Center Investment Complements Arbor Pointe Redevelopment

Wal-Mart will open a 150,000 square foot supercenter on the site of the old Baker High School just off Victory Drive, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson announced today.

Ground is expected to be broken at the end of this year, Tomlinson said, and the building project could take 18 months. The 18-acre site, which includes property where the old Woodside Apartments once sat, will also feature 21,000 square feet of additional retail space.

At the announcement this morning on the site of the project, Tomlinson stressed that bringing Wal-Mart to the site was a long-term team effort, citing Columbus Council, the Columbus Development Authority and Housing Authority, Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Department of Transportation, South Columbus Concerned Citizens and others.

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May
2014
Georgia State University and a team of developers said Wednesday they want to buy Turner Field and the surrounding area and build a $300 million mixed-use complex after the Braves... read more

GSU Proposal Could Revamp Turner Field

Georgia State University and a team of developers said Wednesday they want to buy Turner Field and the surrounding area and build a $300 million mixed-use complex after the Braves leave for Cobb County.

It’s a transformative vision for an underused swath of property and a city still reeling from the November announcement that the Braves were bolting to the ’burbs. It would also reimagine Georgia State, a former commuter school which has strived for years to shape new buildings and misfit office towers into an urban Atlanta campus.

The university and its development team want to convert The Ted into a 30,000-seat football, soccer and track-and-field stadium, build a new baseball park within the footprint of the former Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and preserve the Hank Aaron wall that honors “The Hammer” and his 715th home run. The plan also includes adding new instructional buildings, parking and green space.

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May
2014
WASHINGTON - The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC) congratulates the winners of the 20th Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards. Presented to the most... read more

Winner of Best Urban/Metropolitan Housing – Charles R Edson Awards

WASHINGTON - The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC) congratulates the winners of the 20th Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards. Presented to the most outstanding Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) properties in seven categories, this national awards program celebrates the best in affordable rental housing development.

This year, the Coalition received numerous remarkable entries - 63 applications from 27 states and the District of Columbia. A panel of five judges selected 7 first place finishers and 9 honorable mentions.

Winners and full press release are listed in the downloadable PDF.

May
2014
Via Atlanta Business Chronicle: MARTA continues to target more of its train stations for new mixeduse developments, as a stronger transit culture begins to emerge across parts of... read more

Talented team directing MARTA’s transitoriented developments

Via Atlanta Business Chronicle:

MARTA continues to target more of its train stations for new mixeduse developments, as a stronger transit culture begins to emerge across parts of Atlanta.

The momentum comes almost two years after metro Atlanta voters overwhelmingly rejected a sales tax to fund transportation projects. But support for TSPLOST, including projects that expanded transit, was strongest among the intown neighborhoods such as Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park and East Atlanta.

Earlier this month, Invest Atlanta — the city’s economic development arm — issued a request for proposals to redevelop a roughly 5-acre site by the Edgewood Candler Park Station.

The deadline for responses is April 28.

MARTA is already working with the developer at the King Memorial Station just east of downtown Atlanta and Georgia State University, where it plans 386 apartments and 13,000 square feet of retail. At Avondale, it’s in the preliminary stages with the developer Columbia Ventures LLC, an affiliate of Columbia Residential.

MARTA plans to have five transitoriented developments underway around its stations in the next two years, and it looks as though it’s on its way to reaching that goal.

The next stations may include Brookhaven, where MARTA is already talking with city officials; Medical Center, a station on the Atlanta Perimeter where new development could include a hotel and more apartments; and Fort McPherson, an Army base that fell victim to the Pentagon base closings. Now, economic development officials believe it can become part of an Atlanta Aerotropolis.

MARTA’s emphasis on transitoriented development stems from the influence of CEO Keith Parker, who before joining the authority led the Charlotte Area Transit System when it expanded its light rail line. Parker has assembled a talented transitoriented development team. Amanda Rhein, once a managing director with Invest Atlanta, now oversees MARTA’s office of transitoriented development and real estate. Rhein works closely with MARTA’s chief of staff, Rukiya Eaddy, whose background includes work for Atlanta BeltLine Inc., the nonprofit behind the redevelopment of a 22-mile loop of abandoned railroad around the city.

John Crocker, MARTA’s director of development and regional coordination, is also a key member of the TOD team. Crocker said the projects are drawing a lot of interest for several reasons, including a greater shift in the population back to the urban core.

Other cities have used mixeduse developments around their transit stations as a nucleus around which jobs, stores and housing can gravitate. In Washington, D.C., planners are anticipating 1.6 million people will move into the region by 2040 and want to cluster enough housing around transit stations to support at least half that population growth and 75 percent of the new jobs, said Rod Mullice, national director of transitoriented development for Colliers International.

“I think that the transportation planners here get it, and I know the ARC’s Doug Hooker gets it,” Mullice said. “I believe there is a way to tie landuse policy with transportation policy to get the outcome we desire.”

MARTA’s transitoriented developments may be part of a broader cultural shift defined by the Atlanta Beltline, a magnet for mixeduse projects such as Ponce City Market in the Old Fourth Ward. The Beltline may be more than an economic development tool, its supporters say.

“It’s also setting the cultural expectations for the way we live in this region and for the lifestyle that is possible here,” said Ryan Gravel, the architect with Perkins+Will Inc. whose master’s thesis 15 years ago offered the first concept of the Beltline. “Atlanta is becoming a place you can live without a car, if you want. And that opens the door for new types of developments.”

Transit-oriented projects emphasize the ability to walk or bike to the stations and offer seamless connectivity into the surrounding community.

“[More] people today are looking for social settings within mixeduse districts, better cultural resources, greater mobility, and a more robust public realm,” Gravel said. “We’re tired of sitting in traffic and parking lots. Strip malls have lost their allure. The benefits of sprawl are simply no longer worth their cost.”

Apr
2014
Creative Loafing After a year of renovations, the 104-year-old Imperial Hotel reopened as The Commons at Imperial Hotel. Columbia Residential and National Church Residences... read more

Grand Opening of the Commons at Imperial Hotel

Creative Loafing

After a year of renovations, the 104-year-old Imperial Hotel reopened as The Commons at Imperial Hotel. Columbia Residential and National Church Residences purchased the hotel in 2012.

The Commons at Imperial Hotel is based on a "Housing First Model" that stresses housing as the first step toward self-sufficiency. The units are LEED Gold-certified and equipped with energy-efficient kitchens and bathrooms. The building features a fitness center, a library and on-site staff that offer services such as vocational training.

Columbia Residential is pleased to announce that March 6th marked the grand opening event for the Commons at Imperial Hotel. The event was hosted by Columbia Residential and National Church Residences to honor the numerous partners, contributors and collaborators involved in the momentous undertaking to rehabilitate this historic structure located on Peachtree Street. Click on the video to learn more!

Mar
2014
Noel Khalil's family immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. Today his work is focused on creating affordable housing for lower-income families. His company Columbia... read more

Great American Achievers: Noel Khalil

Noel Khalil's family immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. Today his work is focused on creating affordable housing for lower-income families. His company Columbia Residential has built thousands of Atlanta units and it also helped revitalize New Orleans housing stock after Hurricane Katrina. Noel Khalil spoke about his family's journey during our 2014 Annual Dinner.

Mar
2014
The historic Imperial Hotel at 355 Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta has a new look and a new name. Redevelopment is complete on the building rechristened "The Commons at... read more

Imperial Hotel on Peachtree Street is Reborn

The historic Imperial Hotel at 355 Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta has a new look and a new name.

Redevelopment is complete on the building rechristened "The Commons at Imperial Hotel," reports Curbed.com. The eight-story brick tower, built in the early 1900s, has been redeveloped by Atlanta-based Columbia Residential and Ohio-based National Church Residences.

The building will offer 90 units (all LEED Gold-certified) for Atlanta residents in need of permanent supportive housing, the website reports. Each residence is equipped with a full, energy-efficient kitchen and bathroom, says Curbed.com

Douglas Sams with Atlanta Business Chronicle reported in December 2012 that work on the building was underway.

Read More >

Jan
2014
The Forrest Heights community in Decatur was once home to meth labs with the constant sound of gunshots in the background. Now the demolished apartment complex will become a... read more

Ground-breaking for Forrest Heights

The Forrest Heights community in Decatur was once home to meth labs with the constant sound of gunshots in the background. Now the demolished apartment complex will become a vibrant place for active seniors 55 and older seeking affordable housing. The community will include 70 one-bedroom units and 10 two-bedroom units. The entire five-acre community will be a certified EarthCraft community. The site will include a community garden, a recycling program, walking paths and access to MARTA.

“This new community is part of what I call the ‘Renaissance’ of District 3. Columbia Residential has a great reputation for quality developments and we are looking forward to the day the project is completed,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson. “Our seniors deserve the best. This is all about them. As we move forward in DeKalb, we want to provide all the resources we can to keep our seniors vibrant.”

Jan
2014
The past 48 hours of workshops, presentations, sketching sessions and debates described as "planned chaos" are over — but the effort to redevelop Spartanburg's Northside has just... read more

Northside revitalization effort gets financial boost

The past 48 hours of workshops, presentations, sketching sessions and debates described as "planned chaos" are over — but the effort to redevelop Spartanburg's Northside has just started.
 
The Northside Development Corp., received a $250,000 check from the Spartanburg-based Milliken Foundation Saturday to culminate two days of public workshops the corporation held at Green Street Baptist Church and to kick off a long road ahead.
 
"It's become crystal clear that Spartanburg is making history," said Richard Dillard, Milliken and Co., director of public affairs. "This practice in bringing all stakeholders together to make sure it's a success, it checks all of the boxes we consider are key to doing good."
 
Planners and architects from Columbia Residential, an Atlanta-based developer, spent Thursday and Friday asking local leaders and residents about how they envision the future of Northside.
 
Jan
2014
Spartanburg's Northside will transition into an area with plenty of green space, opportunities for recreation with tree-lined streets that border attractive houses and apartments... read more

Architects show plans for Northside neighborhood

Spartanburg's Northside will transition into an area with plenty of green space, opportunities for recreation with tree-lined streets that border attractive houses and apartments with retail, restaurants and a cafe in the mix, according to architectural sketches.
 
Architects from Spartanburg-based McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture partnered with the Dallas firm of JHP Architecture to illustrate ideas received during two days of public input sessions designed to educate people on the assets and challenges of the Northside and more importantly, what the new Northside will look like.
 
Northside residents sat alongside nonprofit leaders, college presidents and planners Thursday and Friday at the Green Street Baptist Church to get a true picture of the 400 acres that largely comprise the area long plagued by high-crime and poverty.
 
The Northside has plenty of challenges — restricted transportation for many residents, low-income and little access to fresh food, but there are already solutions in place to combat those. Construction of a Healthy Food Hub, which will include a cafe, gardens, community meeting space and a culinary program, is underway. Colleges are committed to bringing technology and classes to the neighborhood.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

- 2013 -

Dec
2013
2013 Award of Merit Columbia Parc at the Bayou District, New Orleans, LA

Residential Architect Design Awards

2013 Award of Merit
Columbia Parc at the Bayou District, New Orleans, LA

Dec
2013
Heritage Senior Residences at Columbia Parc, one of the most highly anticipated projects in New Orleans, has celebrated its grand opening in Gentilly, with the first residents... read more

Columbia Residential Opens State of the Art Seniors Housing

Heritage Senior Residences at Columbia Parc, one of the most highly anticipated projects in New Orleans, has celebrated its grand opening in Gentilly, with the first residents expected to move in starting March 2014.

Located within the Columbia Parc at the Bayou District master-planned community, the 120-unit luxury senior residence boasts community amenities such as a 30-seat movie theater, fully equipped fitness center complete with Wii room, community room kitchen, dining and dance hall, resident’s business center complete with computers and printers, craft room, interior mail room, on-site maintenance, management and leasing office, access controlled parking, garden patio surrounding a porte cochere as well as elevators. The LEED Platinum-certified community features rooftop solar panels, among several sustainable elements.

Read More >

Dec
2013
It's a recovery milestone for some New Orleanians who thought they'd never see the day they could come home. The Housing Authority of New Orleans celebrated the grand opening of... read more

City officials celebrate opening of Columbia Parc Senior Center

It's a recovery milestone for some New Orleanians who thought they'd never see the day they could come home.

The Housing Authority of New Orleans celebrated the grand opening of the Columbia Parc Senior Center in Gentilly on Wednesday.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, City Council President Jackie Clarkson and Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell were on hand for the ribbon cutting.

Local leaders say the developer spared no expense. The luxury apartments are completely energy efficient and even outfitted with solar panels.

Not only that, residents can enjoy amenities like the fitness center, movie theater and private, gated parking.

The $24 million project is now home to 120 New Orleans seniors. Many of those seniors relocated after Hurricane Katrina and say the opening of this new senior living facility gave them the opportunity to finally come back home.

Visit WWLTV to Watch the Video >

Dec
2013
“Today’s groundbreaking for Columbia Brookside is the culmination of years of hard work by our Board of Commissioners, our development partner Columbia Residential, residents, the... read more

Groundbreaking for Columbia Brookside

“Today’s groundbreaking for Columbia Brookside is the culmination of years of hard work by our Board of Commissioners, our development partner Columbia Residential, residents, the community, and our staff.  The goal of developing a vital, thriving, mixed-income neighborhood for Athens is about to become a reality,” said Rick Parker, Athens Housing Authority Executive Director.  “With the establishment of the UGA Health Sciences Campus, the Hawthorne Avenue corridor between our community’s health centers takes on new importance.  It is our hope that this development can serve as a catalyst for the growth and revitalization of this area.  Caterpillar’s arrival shows that Athens-Clarke County is growing and on the move.  The Athens Housing Authority, along with Columbia Residential, looks forward to providing a variety of housing in a unique neighborhood to meet our community’s growing needs.”

Download Press Release >>

Nov
2013
There were dinosaur toys on the shelves, building blocks on the tables and a finger painting extravaganza ambitious enough to warm Jackson Pollock’s heart. A troop of bubbly 3-... read more

Childhood center a boon to Gentilly community

There were dinosaur toys on the shelves, building blocks on the tables and a finger painting extravaganza ambitious enough to warm Jackson Pollock’s heart.

A troop of bubbly 3-year-olds played dress-up, switching between the garb of ship captains and doctors. One of them pressed a plastic stethoscope to Gerry Barrouse’s heart.

“Do you hear a heartbeat in there?” he asked.

Barrouse grinned. He had popped into the new Educare early childhood center in Columbia Parc to lead a tour of the facility, which will be introduced to the public Thursday.

The 27,000-square-foot school, which opened Oct. 1 and cost $9 million to build, is a major addition to the mixed-income complex, the site of the former St. Bernard housing project in Gentilly after Hurricane Katrina.

It’s also part of a growing movement that recognizes early childhood as a crucial time in emotional and intellectual development, during which children in low-income families often fall far behind their peers.

Read More >

Nov
2013
Will the Braves leaving Turner Field be a good or bad thing for the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium? Turns out, it depends on whom you ask. "I think it presents a very... read more

Developer says Braves leaving town could be best thing for area

Will the Braves leaving Turner Field be a good or bad thing for the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium? Turns out, it depends on whom you ask.

"I think it presents a very unique opportunity," said Columbia Residential CEO Noel Khalil.

 
Oct
2013
Columbia Residential was tasked with transforming a 52-acre mixed-income community in New Orleans that had been devastated by crime and Hurricane Katrina. Phase four of Columbia... read more

MF Executive - Heritage at Columbia Parc

Columbia Residential was tasked with transforming a 52-acre mixed-income community in New Orleans that had been devastated by crime and Hurricane Katrina. Phase four of Columbia Parc at the Bayou District was built with 120 affordable senior homes and a touch of New Orleans aesthetic. The three-story building stands three feet above the street to prevent future flooding and is LEED Platinum. The site complies with the American with Disabilities Act incorporating limited stairs, roll-in showers and wide hallways. Rents are pegged to 30 percent of residents’ income through rent subsidies that HANO provides. Full occupancy is expected by the end of the year.

Oct
2013
Columbia Residential's Jim Grauley tells GlobeSt.com's Jennifer LeClaire about the opportunities he sees with adaptive reuse of historic buildings for new multifamily projects.... read more

Columbia Tackling Adaptive Reuse on Historic Buildings

Columbia Residential's Jim Grauley tells GlobeSt.com's Jennifer LeClaire about the opportunities he sees with adaptive reuse of historic buildings for new multifamily projects.

Read More

Oct
2013
More than 100 housing experts from 36 cities toured the Columbia Parc residential community Wednesday, marveling at the new $9 million early education center, a 46-seat movie... read more

Columbia Parc in New Orleans is showcased as national mixed-income housing model

More than 100 housing experts from 36 cities toured the Columbia Parc residential community Wednesday, marveling at the new $9 million early education center, a 46-seat movie theater adjacent to the fitness center and outdoor pool, and a two-story townhouse model unit, one of 685 apartments built and fully occupied on a 12-acre site in Gentilly.

"It's unbelievable," said John Frazer, a board member of the East Lake Foundation in Atlanta. "It's phenomenal, just the quality of the houses."

Frazer was one of more than 300 people who came to New Orleans this week for the fourth annual Purpose Built Communities Network Conference, which used Columbia Parc as a way to showcase successful strategies to combat poverty and violence.

Read More

Oct
2013
Westside Atlanta Charter School exists to serve students, teachers and families within Atlanta’s Westside community. With language and literacy as the core of our curriculum, we... read more

School Opening at Atlanta Westside Charter School

Westside Atlanta Charter School exists to serve students, teachers and families within Atlanta’s Westside community. With language and literacy as the core of our curriculum, we provide a comprehensive learning experience that emphasizes the development of leadership among students, while challenging and encouraging educators to grow professionally and personally.

Visit their site to learn more!

Oct
2013
Many of the people involved with Retreat at Edgewood share the same story — that when the residents arrived at their new homes, they thought they had gone to the wrong address. “... read more

Retreat at Edgewood Transforms Neighborhood

Many of the people involved with Retreat at Edgewood share the same story — that when the residents arrived at their new homes, they thought they had gone to the wrong address.

“What was here many years before was of poor quality, poorly managed. People get used to that, and they have a picture in their heads,” said James Grauley, president and chief operating officer of Columbia Residential LLC. “Our product looks market rate, and combined with the service we provide, that is when expectations are exceeded.”

Urban Land Institute Atlanta judges agreed that expectations were exceeded and gave the 140-unit, multifamily development a ULI Development of Excellence award.

Read More

Oct
2013
Educare of New Orleans, a nationally-acclaimed early learning school using evidence-based strategies to prepare 150 at-risk young children and their families for success in school... read more

EduCare Opening in New Orleans

Educare of New Orleans, a nationally-acclaimed early learning school using evidence-based strategies to prepare 150 at-risk young children and their families for success in school, opened October 1 at Columbia Parc at the Bayou District.

The Educare Learning Network, the Bayou District Foundation, Kingsley House, Total Community Action and the Housing Authority of New Orleans have partnered to open the new $9 million early education facility in Gentilly. The 27,000-square-foot facility includes a combination of new construction, and the renovation of three former public housing buildings that were part of the St. Bernard Housing Development.

“The power of the Educare model is derived from core features working together in a comprehensive, intentional and sustained way to achieve a high-quality early childhood learning experience that helps children from birth to age 5 grow up safe, healthy and ready and eager to learn,” said Educare of New Orleans Chairman Gerard Barousse, Jr.

Read More

Sep
2013
Atlanta-based Columbia Residential defies the odds and gives residents sustainable, high-quality housing along with the support and services they may not get elsewhere. Columbia... read more

Scattered-Site Plans Come Together

Atlanta-based Columbia Residential defies the odds and gives residents sustainable, high-quality housing along with the support and services they may not get elsewhere.
Columbia Residential, an Atlanta-based affordable housing developer, is embarking on a fairly new venture: Building on the award-winning success of its contiguous affordable housing communities, the firm is launching a new scattered-site initiative close to its existing Columbia Mechanicsville (Ga.) property.
Affordable housing has come a long way since the 1930s and ’40s, when America built homogeneous public housing that devolved into centralized crime zones so dangerous that even the police were hesitant to enter. Columbia Residential is one of a few pioneers of a new model of affordable housing, where “projects” are torn down and replaced with beautiful, quality, LEED-certified mixed-income communities.
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Feb
2013
Columbia Residential has been a leader in our markets at developing high quality affordable and mixed-income housing and applying sustainable and energy efficient building... read more

Columbia Residential Housing Development Built to Sustainability Ratings (LEED)

Columbia Residential has been a leader in our markets at developing high quality affordable and mixed-income housing and applying sustainable and energy efficient building practices. Starting with applying Energy Star ratings over ten years ago, the building certifications have improved to EarthCraft standards and most recently LEED standards. Our design team also has extensive experience with designing to LEED and other sustainability standards.

Columbia Residential has built and is currently building eight (8) of its most recent ten (10) projects to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Gold and Silver certifications. The other projects are being built to EarthCraft Multi-Family sustainable building certification (SouthFace – EarthCraft) which is comparable to LEED. A list of projects built to LEED standards includes:

Developments Completed and Certified:

Columbia Parc – Phase I, New Orleans, LA 466 units LEED Silver (a)

Columbia Parc – Phase IIA – New Orleans, LA 49 units LEED Silver (b)

Edgewood Townhomes Phase I – Atlanta, GA 100 units LEED Gold

Parkside at Mechanicsville – Atlanta, GA 156 units LEED Silver

(a) LEED Silver certification obtained in May 2011 – on all 73 buildings; the largest single LEED development in Louisiana

(b) LEED Silver certification obtained in January 2012

(c) LEED Silver certification obtained – June 2012

(d) LEED Gold certification obtained – September 2012

Developments Under Construction – Certifications Pending:

Columbia Parc – Phase IIB – New Orleans, LA 48 units LEED Silver

Columbia Parc Senior– Ph. III – New Orleans, LA 120 units LEED Gold

Edgewood Townhomes Phase II – Atlanta, GA 40 units LEED Silver

Baker Village Seniors – Ph III – Columbus, GA 120 units EarthCraft Multi-family

Columbia Mill Redevelopment – Atlanta, GA 100 units EarthCraft Multi-family

Imperial Hotel Redevelopment – Atlanta, GA 90 units LEED Gold

The prior track record of the development partner and design team in designing, constructing, and achieving LEED certifications after all testing and documentation, is the best indicator of the ability to successfully partner with the Charlotte Housing Authority and other development partners to develop a sustainable mixed-income developments in the Hall House site.

Feb
2013
Downtown’s 102-year-old Imperial Hotel is getting yet another new lease on life thanks to Columbia Residential and National Church Residences. Renovation and construction has... read more

Imperial Hotel Gets Another New Lease on Life

Downtown’s 102-year-old Imperial Hotel is getting yet another new lease on life thanks to Columbia Residential and National Church Residences. Renovation and construction has begun and the facility will re-open in late 2013 as a state of the art permanent supportive housing facility.

The renovation is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification for green building and sustainable construction. The historic renovation will follow guidelines of the City of Atlanta Landmarks Commission as well as the National Parks Service.

Columbia Residential and National Church Residences worked with the state of Georgia and the City of Atlanta throughout 2011 to purchase the property at 355 Peachtree St. from a court receivership.

Read more

Jan
2013
If Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson summed up 2012 in a word, it would be “growth.” Her State of the City speech Wednesday to the Athens Rotary Club highlighted that, with... read more

Athens Mayor Recaps 2012 in State of the City Address

If Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson summed up 2012 in a word, it would be “growth.”

Her State of the City speech Wednesday to the Athens Rotary Club highlighted that, with references to biomedical company Ethicon’s expansion here, to new restaurants and housing starts and, of course, Caterpillar’s new plant. A single planned development’s, the Selig Enterprises mixed-use project on Oconee Street, projected $80 million investment is about as much as the total development in 2011, she said, and it is one of many large-scale developments slated for downtown.

Read more.

- 2012 -

Dec
2012
The Athens Housing Authority (AHA) recently received nearly $8.7 million in tax credits from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for the first phase of the... read more

Athens Housing Authority Receives Tax Credits for Jack R. Wells Transformation

The Athens Housing Authority (AHA) recently received nearly $8.7 million in tax credits from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for the first phase of the transformation of the Jack R. Wells neighborhood in the Hawthorne Avenue corridor.

Construction of phase one of the project is estimated to start on Hawthorne Avenue in August 2013 and will include a 100-unit building for the elderly.

AHA and DCA staff members already have met with residents regarding relocation. Residents will have the option to relocate by accepting a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher supplied by DCA or by transferring to another AHA neighborhood. In all cases, residents will have the option to return to the new Jack R. Wells neighborhood once construction concludes.

AHA staff also is working with Clarke County School District administrators to keep students in their current schools as families relocate to different areas of the community.

Phase one of the transformation is expected to conclude in 2014. Phase two will be complete by 2016, and the third phase will finish by January 2017, said Athens Housing Authority Executive Director Rick Parker.

“It’s about a five-year process from when you first apply for tax credits on a three phase project like this until everything is done, and that’s if everything goes perfectly,” he said.

Under the Low Income (Affordable) Housing Tax Credit created in the 1986 Tax Reform Act, the U.S. Treasury Department allocates tax credits to each state based on states’ populations. The credits then are awarded to builders, who develop and maintain apartments as affordable units.

Through that program, AHA was awarded $869,000 in tax credits annually for a 10-year period.

Read more.

Dec
2012
Columbia Residential and National Church Residences have closed on construction and permanent financing for downtown Atlanta’s 102-year-old Imperial Hotel. Renovation and... read more

Renovation Begins at Imperial Hotel in Downtown Atlanta

Columbia Residential and National Church Residences have closed on construction and permanent financing for downtown Atlanta’s 102-year-old Imperial Hotel.

Renovation and construction has begun and the facility will re-open in late 2013 as a permanent supportive housing facility.

The renovation is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification. The historic renovation will follow guidelines of the City of Atlanta Landmarks Commission as well as the National Parks Service.

Columbia Residential and National Church Residences worked with the state of Georgia and the City of Atlanta throughout 2011 to purchase the property from a court receivership.

The new owners will continue to serve low to moderate-income residents exiting homelessness and others with special needs by providing supportive services in a secure, high-quality, affordable rental housing community. Previous Imperial residents, who, earlier this year, were relocated to replacement housing and continuation of supportive services, will have the priority opportunity to return to the renovated facility.

The renovated building will contain 90 fully renovated units, with improved floor plan configuration, fully updated leasing and management offices, resident amenities and spaces for case managers and service providers and onsite security.

Read more.

Dec
2012
The Athens Housing Authority has received $8.6 million in tax credits from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The credits, which will be sold to investors to cover... read more

Athens Housing Authority Receives Tax Credits To Build New Community

The Athens Housing Authority has received $8.6 million in tax credits from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The credits, which will be sold to investors to cover construction costs, will cover the costs of the first phase of a massive housing re-development right off Hawthorne Avenue. 

Administered by the Athens Housing Authority,Jack R. Wells (known also as Pauldoe) is a 125-unit housing complex for lower-income residents. In its place will be constructed not only public housing units, but also affordable units for low to middle income families and units at market rates. There will also be a mid-rise assisted living facility for seniors with 100 units, scheduled to open in 2014, and a town square and park. 

The local government is pitching in about $700,000 to help pay for infrastructure. The AHA is partnering with Columbia Residential on the project.

Read more.

Dec
2012
Developing and managing multifamily affordable housing communities has been Columbia Residential’s specialty since 1991. As the Atlanta-based company has expanded – forming... read more

Columbia Residential

Developing and managing multifamily affordable housing communities has been Columbia Residential’s specialty since 1991. As the Atlanta-based company has expanded – forming Columbia Residential Management Group in 1996 and Columbia Residential Construction Management Services in 1997 – it has grown into a full-service organization with an array of capabilities and services.

“We are known for our design and construction quality and our ability to mix affordable and market-rate housing into developments,” President and COO Jim Grauley says. “We work on public-private partnerships that revitalize neighborhoods, and we are adept at the construction, financing and property management of mixed-income communities.”

Read more.

Dec
2012
Creative Loafing – Best of Atlanta – 2012 Atlanta Beltline Inc. purchased and converted a Reynoldstown loft into affordable housing. And a developer plans to renovate a Section... read more

Best Affordable Housing News: Imperial Hotel

Creative Loafing – Best of Atlanta – 2012

Atlanta Beltline Inc. purchased and converted a Reynoldstown loft into affordable housing. And a developer plans to renovate a Section 8 tower located at Ponce de Leon and Highland avenues. But none compare to the Imperial Hotel.

Since 1997, the majestic eight-story building located along Peachtree Street in the heart of downtown Atlanta has provided an affordable place for low-income Atlantans and formerly homeless men and women to live. But in 2010, the historic building - Little Richard reportedly performed in the hotel's lounge - went into receivership and appeared to be in jeopardy.

Rather than be converted into pricey condos by developers eager to charge a premium for the picturesque views, two affordable housing developers, working with the city and state, moved in to renovate the building and keep it affordable. Columbia Residential and National Church Residences plan to spend the next year - and millions of dollars - renovating the building's interior and exterior.

Once complete, the overhauled building will feature larger units, space for care providers, and, if they wish to return, affordable homes for residents who were relocated during renovations. Thank God the building, which is located near transit and medical facilities, didn't turn into yet another expensive condo tower.

Oct
2012
ATLANTA, October 29, 2012 – The Retreat at Edgewood, a mixed-income affordable housing and multifamily community was awarded LEED Gold certification this month for its... read more

Atlanta Affordable Housing Community Awarded LEED Gold

ATLANTA, October 29, 2012 – The Retreat at Edgewood, a mixed-income affordable housing and multifamily community was awarded LEED Gold certification this month for its environmentally friendly features. Columbia Residential, developer of the successful Atlanta community, had planned to qualify for LEED Silver and was pleasantly surprised to learn its investment had surpassed its original goal.

“Everyone who worked to bring Edgewood to fruition is dedicated to excellence in affordable housing, and incorporating green technology is a part of that commitment,” said Noel Khalil, chairman and CEO of Columbia Residential. “Investing in sustainable elements requires a larger investment of time and money, but the many ways it benefits our residents, especially our low-income residents, is worth the cost.”

The U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded the Gold LEED certification to Retreat at Edgewood for environmental innovations, such as walkways made of pervious concrete that allows water to drain into the soil and landscaping with native and drought-resistant plants. The sustainable innovations that most excited the developers and investors in Retreat at Edgewood were those that cut costs for residents.

“Our residents are our primary focus and we strive to improve the affordable housing experience every day,” said Jim Grauley, president and COO of Columbia Residential. “Development costs might be higher in the beginning, but the opportunity to lower utility bills is one more way to enhance the quality of life for residents at our properties.”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that low-income families spend almost 20% of their monthly budget on utility bills, which is much larger than the 5% that median-income families pay. The City of Atlanta and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs – the organizations that provided the primary funding for Edgewood – and Columbia Residential committed to installing low-flow plumbing, high-efficiency appliances, and 100% compact fluorescent lighting throughout the property.

While three of Columbia Residential’s communities have attained LEED Silver, Retreat at Edgewood is the first of its properties to be awarded LEED Gold.

Oct
2012
ATLANTA, October 3, 2012 – Columbia Residential, a leading affordable housing developer headquartered in Atlanta, has hired Barry Weaver as President of Property Management. “We... read more

Columbia Residential Hires New President of Property Management

ATLANTA, October 3, 2012 – Columbia Residential, a leading affordable housing developer headquartered in Atlanta, has hired Barry Weaver as President of Property Management.

“We were looking for a transformative, experienced leader to take the helm in property management, and we found that in Barry,” said Noel Khalil, chairman and CEO of Columbia Residential. “He is the right person to continue to drive our mission to lead in the affordable housing industry.”

Weaver has more than 20 years experience in property operations and management. Prior to joining Columbia Residential, he served as Vice President of Property Management at Westlake Housing, a subsidiary of Wentwood Capital Partners in Austin, Texas. Weaver has worked with prestigious organizations, such as Volunteers of America and LMW Assets, Inc. He also founded Barry Weaver Consulting. He received a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado.

Weaver is a LEED Accredited Professional and author of “Green Housing: A Practical Guide to Green Real Estate Management,” published by the National Affordable Housing Management Association. He is also a Certified Property Manager and became a specialist in Housing Credit Management through the National Affordable Housing Management Association.

Weaver has extensive experience in the affordable and market rate housing sectors across the U.S. His approach to affordable housing – viewing it as conventional housing, and competing head-to-head with other conventional properties in the community – aligned neatly with Columbia Residential’s plans for the future of affordable housing.

“I’m glad to be a part of Columbia Residential’s passion for continued excellence, green initiatives and efforts to elevate the industry as a whole,” said Weaver. “Columbia has a great reputation and I’m excited to join the team.”

For the last year, Columbia Residential has implemented changes to advance its property management division. Weaver, who specializes in managing portfolios and teams at large organizations, will look comprehensively at overall operations at Columbia Residential and use data driven knowledge to systematically improve operations and customer service.

“We want to be the company that innovates, better serves and communicates with our residents, and raises the bar in affordable housing,” said Jim Grauley, president and COO of Columbia Residential. “We welcome Barry and look forward to working with him to reach our goals.”

Sep
2012
Atlanta Business Chronicle – September 21, 2012 At more than 6 feet tall and 280 pounds, Noel Khalil looks like a former NFL lineman. And yet, on display in the intentionally... read more

Noel Khalil Finds Career and Hobby Ring True

Atlanta Business Chronicle – September 21, 2012

At more than 6 feet tall and 280 pounds, Noel Khalil looks like a former NFL lineman. And yet, on display in the intentionally unassuming office of this CEO is his favorite hobby — one that belies his imposing stature.

Arranged in rows along a shelf are dozens of tiny bells he has collected from cities across the world. He has dozens more in his home, and he has been collecting them for about 30 years. Some come from souvenir shops in international cities, including Beijing during the Olympics. Others are from beach towns where he took his family on summer vacations. His favorite has a picture of one of his daughters with Santa Claus.

Khalil, CEO of Atlanta-based affordable housing developer Columbia Residential, realizes the contradiction of a man his size having a passion for collecting tiny bells. “I’d say he’s comfortable in his masculinity,” said Ron Harwick, vice president of JHP Architecture, a firm that has worked on at least 30 projects with Khalil. The bells remind the 61-year-old of his roots in the Bronx, N.Y., where the church had a strong influence.

Years later, amid a severe real estate downturn in the 1980s and ’90s, he turned to his faith, and it inspired him to launch Columbia Residential. It now has more than 6,000 units in its portfolio. “I was having deeply personal conversations with God about the direction I wanted to take, and I decided that maybe affordable housing and the ability to help others was the way,” he said. The bells also remind him of his family, especially the lessons he learned from his own parents about the value of self-reliance, the power of education and the importance of being responsible. “These bells keep me grounded,” he said.

Read more.

 

Mar
2012
Located in downtown Atlanta’s financial district on tony Peachtree Street, surrounded by ritzy modern hotels, the Imperial Hotel might easily have been converted to luxury... read more

Partners Craft Workout Plan to Preserve Troubled Imperial Hotel in Atlanta

Located in downtown Atlanta’s financial district on tony Peachtree Street, surrounded by ritzy modern hotels, the Imperial Hotel might easily have been converted to luxury apartments or condos. Yet the historic eight-story building, once a troubled low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) development stumbling toward the end of its 15-year compliance period, is getting a new lease on life. It’s about to be renovated and preserved as affordable permanent supportive housing units for individuals with special needs – the result of a collaborative partnership involving two developers, the city and state, and others.
 
“I’ve spent more time personally on this project than I have on probably our last 10 projects combined. It’s just that complicated and that important,” says Michelle Norris, chief development officer at National Church Residences, the Columbus, Ohio-based national nonprofit that is redeveloping the hotel in a joint venture with Columbia Residential, a major national for-profit affordable housing developer based in Atlanta. Both organizations have developed permanent supportive housing projects in the past.
 
“We believed that there was a sustainable way to redevelop this vital housing resource, to structure it financially and operationally, and to provide permanent supportive housing for a 30-year commitment,” says Jim Grauley, Columbia Residential’s president and chief
operating officer.
 

 

Feb
2012
The board of directors of the Housing Authority of Columbus unanimously approved Columbia Residential to develop the property that is now the Booker T. Washington public housing... read more

Developer That Built Arbor Pointe Chosen for BTW Project

The board of directors of the Housing Authority of Columbus unanimously approved Columbia Residential to develop the property that is now the Booker T. Washington public housing complex.

Columbia Residential is the developer that worked with the housing authority to redevelop the old Baker Village apartments into the new Arbor Pointe complex.

“We have had excellent results with Columbia in the past. We could not be happier with their work,” said housing authority Chief Executive Officer Len Williams as he recommended the board accept Columbia proposal.

Williams said the project is in its infancy, so it’s too early to offer many specifics. He said, unlike the redevelopments at Arbor Pointe and Ashley Station, the BTW project will likely have a commercial aspect as well as public housing.

“I’d be surprised if there weren’t a commercial aspect to it,” he said.

Read more.

Jan
2012
About 50 people gathered under a large tent in a parking lot of Arbor Pointe Thursday morning to officially open the second phase of the project and break ground on the third. On... read more

Arbor Pointe Kicks Off New Phase of Mixed-income Housing Complex

About 50 people gathered under a large tent in a parking lot of Arbor Pointe Thursday morning to officially open the second phase of the project and break ground on the third.

On the grounds of what used to be the old Baker Village public housing project, Arbor Pointe is a mixed-income apartment complex built by a partnership of the Housing Authority of Columbus and private firms and investors.

Len Williams, executive director of the housing authority, told the gathering that with the recent developments of Willow Glenn, Ashley Station and Arbor Pointe, they will have completed 878 housing units at a cost of about $113 million. And $66 million of that has come from the private sector, he said.

“This is a great example of a public-private partnership,” he said. “We have converted several existing communities into greatly improved communities.”

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and housing authority board chairman Larry Cardin pointed out how the recent developments have changed not just the face of public housing, but even the definition.

“What a transformation,” Tomlinson said. “I truly believe we have one of the best if not the best housing authorities in the country. They are redefining what the term ‘public housing’ ever meant.”

Cardin, CEO of First Georgia Bank, said the evolution of public housing in this country has meant moving away from building “warehouses” for people and building communities.

“Words matter,” Cardin said. “The people living here are not tenants. They’re residents. This is not a housing project. It is a community.”

Read more.

 

 

Jan
2012
Atlanta-based affordable housing developer Columbia Residential and National Church Residences, a nonprofit provider of senior and permanent supportive housing, quietly scooped up... read more

Downtown's Imperial Hotel Building Purchased, Extensive Renovations Planned for Affordable Housing Project

Atlanta-based affordable housing developer Columbia Residential and National Church Residences, a nonprofit provider of senior and permanent supportive housing, quietly scooped up the property — once one of the city's leading hotels and home to nightlife hotspots — after nearly a year of discussions with the state and city over funding.

Read more.

 

Jan
2012
Community has set a new standard for affordable housing and housing associated with public housing in Columbus.    

The Housing Authority of Columbus and Columbia Residential Host Grand Opening for Arbor Pointe II

Community has set a new standard for affordable housing and housing associated with public housing in Columbus.

 

 

Jan
2012
Columbia Residential purchases historic Imperial Hotel, Plans Renovation.

Imperial Hotel

Columbia Residential purchases historic Imperial Hotel, Plans Renovation.

- 2011 -

Dec
2011
After Hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans and the levees failed in August 2005, 80 percent of the city was flooded and 70 percent of all occupied units suffered damage,... read more

A Fresh Start

After Hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans and the levees failed in August 2005, 80 percent of the city was flooded and 70 percent of all occupied units suffered damage, including the already distressed St. Bernard public housing development in the Gentilly neighborhood.

With an Atlanta mixed-use, mixedincome development as a model, partnerships formed with the vision to transform the neighborhood into a sustainable community with a mix of housing types enhanced with amenities, schools, a health clinic, retail, and recreation.

The first phase of that vision is Columbia Parc at the Bayou District, and it is this year's overall winner in AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE's Readers' Choice Awards. It also was selected as the best family project by the magazine's readers.

Columbia Parc's story started in the months after Katrina, when a group of civic-minded residents formed the Bayou District Foundation. Their vision was to assist in the rebirth of New Orleans by helping to restore the areas in and around New Orleans City Park.They were invited to visit East Lake, an Atlanta public housing revitalization that transformed a blighted neighborhood into a mixed-income, mixed-use community with a public golf course, a swimming pool, and tennis courts.

As businessmen Gerry Barousse, Gary Solomon, and Mike Rodrigue got on the plane to depart Atlanta, they knew if they could do something comparable in New Orleans, it would be a “game changer," says Barousse, chairman of the Bayou District Foundation.

Looking for a venue that was close to the 1,300-acre city park where the components could come together, the former St. Bernard site was the logical spot.

The foundation brought Atlanta-based developer Columbia Residential on board and worked with the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) on the redevelopment plan. But it wasn't without obstacles.

“It was a very controversial thing to tear down the St. Bernard development," says New Orleans Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. St. Bernard, one of New Orleans' Big Four public housing developments, was built in the 1940s and consisted of 1,400 units. At the time of Katrina, only 900 of those units had been occupied, but many of those families had roots there and didn't have a high level of confidence that what was promised would be delivered because of their past experiences.

“As a resident and now a representative, I knew after Katrina that it wasn't habitable [and needed to be demolished]," says Hedge-Morrell.

Many also were skeptical of the mixedincome model, which wasn't one that had been tried before in the city. The foundation worked hard in 2006 and 2007 to get former residents from the public housing community and city leaders to see the model firsthand at East Lake.

Hedge-Morrell was one of the city leaders to visit East Lake, where she was able to talk with several former St. Bernard residents who had relocated there after Katrina. She says they provided a different mind-set of how a mixed-income, mixeduse project could work for New Orleans.

When it was time for the City Council to make the final decision in the latter part of 2007, the vote was 7-0 in favor of demolition.

Read more.

Nov
2011
In Edgewood, an East Side Atlanta neighborhood troubled by foreclosure, new hope has arrived with the recent opening of Retreat at Edgewood, a 100-unit affordable rental townhome... read more

Promise Replaces Blight in Atlanta Enclave

In Edgewood, an East Side Atlanta neighborhood troubled by foreclosure, new hope has arrived with the recent opening of Retreat at Edgewood, a 100-unit affordable rental townhome development from Atlanta’s Columbia Residential.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary Shaun Donovan and Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed celebrated the project’s unveiling with a tour of the development in late October. “The HUD secretary came because this was a project that particularly utilized the Neighborhood Stabilization Program,” Columbia president and chief operating officer Jim Grauley tells MHN.

“The Neighborhood Stabilization program was initiated by HUD to address neighborhoods heavily impacted by foreclosures and blight.”

The program helped finance construction of Retreat at Edgewood, which was among the first developments backed by federal stimulus funds in 2010. The project was awarded $2.7 million by the city of Atlanta and state of Georgia, which allocated Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds.

Read more

Nov
2011
This week, a delegation of officials, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, toured Columbia... read more

Columbia Residential’s Retreat at Edgewood Community Held Up As National Success Story by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan

This week, a delegation of officials, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, toured Columbia Residential’s new Retreat at Edgewood affordable rental townhome community.

Nov
2011
In Edgewood, an East Side Atlanta neighborhood troubled by foreclosure, new hope has arrived with the recent opening of Retreat at Edgewood, a 100-unit affordable rental townhome... read more

New Hope Has Arrived with the Recent Opening of Retreat at Edgewood

In Edgewood, an East Side Atlanta neighborhood troubled by foreclosure, new hope has arrived with the recent opening of Retreat at Edgewood, a 100-unit affordable rental townhome development from Atlanta’s Columbia Residential.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary Shaun Donovan and Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed celebrated the project’s unveiling with a tour of the development in late October. “The HUD secretary came because this was a project that particularly utilized the Neighborhood Stabilization Program,” Columbia president and chief operating officer Jim Grauley tells MHN.

“The Neighborhood Stabilization program was initiated by HUD to address neighborhoods heavily impacted by foreclosures and blight.”

The program helped finance construction of Retreat at Edgewood, which was among the first developments backed by federal stimulus funds in 2010. The project was awarded $2.7 million by the city of Atlanta and state of Georgia, which allocated Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds.

The property was privately purchased through the Zeist Foundation, which has been in the vanguard of revitalization efforts in Edgewood. Zeist and its partners have adopted a holistic approach to revitalization, which in turn has generated both community engagement and improvement initiatives, among them the uniting of high-quality housing, healthcare and education.

Grauley and Columbia Residential CEO Noel Khalil hailed the tour by Donovan and Reed as a recognition of the positive impacts of public-private partnerships on an entire community. “The accolades deservedly go to the Zeist Foundation, which has dedicated 17 years to the Edgewood community,” Grauley says.

Read more.

Nov
2011
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced the winners of the 2011 Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards. NAHB’s Pillars Awards, considered the most... read more

NAHB Honors The Year's Best Apartments & Condos

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced the winners of the 2011 Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards. NAHB’s Pillars Awards, considered the most prestigious in the industry, honor excellence in multifamily housing development, design, marketing and management, and showcase future trends in the industry.

“With this group of winners, we see the effort of developers and builders who have persevered through difficult economic conditions to create something wonderful,” said Charles R. Brindell, Jr., chair of NAHB’s Multifamily Leadership Board, and CEO of Mill Creek Residential Trust, LLC. “With demand rising for multifamily homes, these apartments and condos are models for the communities being built to meet that need.”

Among the winners are the Presidio Landmark in San Francisco—a former Marine hospital that was converted into rental apartments; the Markham Apartments in Cupertino, Calif.—an apartment complex that upgraded and merged two aging communities; and Columbia Parc at Bayou District in New Orleans—an affordable rental community that took top honors as the competition’s Community of the Year.

Read more.

Sep
2011
Columbia Residential has partnered with the Athens Housing Authority to transform the existing 125-unit Jack R. Wells community into a newly designed and modernized neighborhood.

Columbia Residential Proudly Announces a New Development Partnership with Athens Housing Authority

Columbia Residential has partnered with the Athens Housing Authority to transform the existing 125-unit Jack R. Wells community into a newly designed and modernized neighborhood.

Sep
2011
The Athens Housing Authority has entered into a partnership with Columbia Residential, one of the nation’s leading developers and managers of multifamily affordable housing... read more

The Athens Housing Authority Is Proud to Announce It Has Entered into a Partnership with Columbia Residential

The Athens Housing Authority has entered into a partnership with Columbia Residential, one of the nation’s leading developers and managers of multifamily affordable housing communities.

Read more.

 

Aug
2011
Congratulations to Columbia Residential community, Columbia Parc, who was awarded not one, but TWO 2011 Reader's Choice Awards by Affordable Housing Finance — Best Overall Project... read more

Columbia Parc Honored by Affordable Housing Finance

Congratulations to Columbia Residential community, Columbia Parc, who was awarded not one, but TWO 2011 Reader's Choice Awards by Affordable Housing Finance — Best Overall Project and Best Family Project! Great job!

Jul
2011
Columbia Parc has earned another award for community development. Sponsored by the Tax Credit Coalition, the 2011 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award was presented at a... read more

2011 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award Winner

Columbia Parc has earned another award for community development. Sponsored by the Tax Credit Coalition, the 2011 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award was presented at a Capitol Hill ceremony in Washington, DC on May 11, 2011.

Jul
2011
Margaret Abernathy, who moved into the newly renovated Tower at Dorsey Manor near Marietta Square this week, said she is delighted with her new home. “I love it,” the retired Cobb... read more

Senior Housing Tower is Back

Margaret Abernathy, who moved into the newly renovated Tower at Dorsey Manor near Marietta Square this week, said she is delighted with her new home. “I love it,” the retired Cobb School District lunchroom cook and grandmother of three said of the nine-story high-rise.

Four years ago Abernathy’s husband, Buddy, died, leaving her alone in their home near Wheeler High School. “It was too big a home since he passed,” she said. “A lot of work, land and stuff like that.” Hearing of her plight, state Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-east Cobb), who represents the area, said the Tower was were she needed to be. 

“We started looking where it was convenient, and her doctors are close to WellStar,” Cooper said. Cooper rounded up her husband’s secretary and her legislative intern to help move Abernathy into the fifth floor this week. 

“We’re an aging population, and big houses are hard to take care of,” Cooper said. “With the economic situation that’s occurred over the last couple of years, many of our seniors really find themselves struggling to make ends meet, and then you couple that with a great big house with lots of maintenance problems and lots of cost, it really is hard for them.” 

The Marietta Housing Authority rededicated the building Wednesday after a $11.4 million renovation. Of the 80 apartments for seniors, 25 are studios, while the rest are one bedrooms ranging from 588 to 923 square feet, said Ray Buday, MHA executive director. 

Read more.

Mar
2011
Columbia Parc has just been awarded the prestigious 2011 Neighborhood Development Foundation Development Award and will be recognized at the NDF Annual Gala Saturday March 26th at... read more

2011 Development Award Winner

Columbia Parc has just been awarded the prestigious 2011 Neighborhood Development Foundation Development Award and will be recognized at the NDF Annual Gala Saturday March 26th at the FirstNBC.

Read more.

- 2010 -

Oct
2010
Over the next twelve months, Columbia Residential will deliver 100 state-of-the-art affordable housing units to the Edgewood Community - a community on the rise. Units will be set... read more

Edgewood Partnership Breaks Ground on New Community

Over the next twelve months, Columbia Residential will deliver 100 state-of-the-art affordable housing units to the Edgewood Community - a community on the rise. Units will be set aside at 50% and 60% of AMI to accommodate the need for high quality, affordable workforce housing within the community.

 

Oct
2010
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama tour the Columbia Parc Development with Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary... read more

President and First Lady Visit Columbia Parc in New Orleans

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama tour the Columbia Parc Development with Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan.

 

Sep
2010
Atlanta's Zeist Foundation, Columbia Residential Properties, and other community partners broke ground in Atlanta's Edgewood district. Kappy deButts, Zeist's executive director,... read more

Zeist Foundation Breaks Ground on Affordable Housing Development in Edgewood

Atlanta's Zeist Foundation, Columbia Residential Properties, and other community partners broke ground in Atlanta's Edgewood district. Kappy deButts, Zeist's executive director, talks with WABE's Steve Goss.

Sep
2010
Building affordable rental units, instead of single-family homes, might be the way to save some neighborhoods struggling with high foreclosure numbers. Columbia Residential will... read more

Changes Coming in Southeast Atlanta Neighborhood

Building affordable rental units, instead of single-family homes, might be the way to save some neighborhoods struggling with high foreclosure numbers.

Columbia Residential will test that theory as it begins to build 100 rental townhomes in southeast Atlanta in the Edgewood neighborhood.

Jim Grauley, Columbia Residential president, said the company is having success doing the same thing in Marietta. "I don’t know that we could build and sell single-family homes right now if we wanted to.”

This time next year, the corner of Hardee and Hutchinson streets, in southeast Atlanta, will look dramatically different, thanks to funds from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, Grauley said.

The NSP is an effort through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to halt the slide of areas hit hard by foreclosure. It provides money to states, counties and cities to refurbish homes and then sell them. In 2009, during the first round of NSP funding, Georgia governments got $146 million, of which $16.2 million came to the city of Atlanta. Housing officials asked potential contractors to submit proposals. The first round of NSP funding preceded money authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Some changes in the Edgewood neighborhood will be evident as early as Tuesday when a number of Atlanta dignitaries, including Mayor Kasim Reed, take a tour and participate in a groundbreaking for the townhomes. Columbia Townhomes at Edgewood, as it will be called, is a continuation of the neighborhood redevelopment project, which started several years ago.

Read more.

Aug
2010
About The East Lake Model and Columbia Parc at the Bayou District

Tom Cousins: A Purpose Built Life

About The East Lake Model and Columbia Parc at the Bayou District

- 2009 -

Sep
2009
The Columbia Residential development team is currently 33% complete with the466-unit Columbia Parc at the Bayou District, located in New Orleans, Louisiana. As the largest single-... read more

Development of Columbia Parc at the Bayou District 33% Complete

The Columbia Residential development team is currently 33% complete with the466-unit Columbia Parc at the Bayou District, located in New Orleans, Louisiana. As the largest single-phase project the company has ever undertaken, theimplications for the company are clear. Though it is still too early to say for sure,approaching month number seven of construction, all signs point to a hugelysuccessful project. 

The project closed in December of 2008 in one of the worst economicenvironments in the last thirty years. At the time, to the best of our knowledge, thiswas the largest single-phase tax credit project ever closed. The falling constructioncost climate has yielded buyout savings for the project, allowing us to make significant upgrades that will benefit the residents of this mixed income community. These include such lifestyle amenities as a forty-six seat movie theater, pool andsplash park as well as in-unit upgrades such as granite counter tops and ceramictile. Adding to the list of “firsts” for the company, Columbia Parc will be our first LEED®for Homes Certified project. This will benefit the marketability of the project, butmore importantly the utility cost for, and health of our residents. The temporary leasing office opened in mid-June to rave reviews by partners andlenders alike. The Property Management group welcomed industry veteran, JasonStrealy, to the team as Senior Community Manager. He, along with long-timeColumbia employee, Ms. Doralee Preston-Price, are based out of this temporaryspace and will anchor the growing staff at Columbia Parc. Though final completion will not occur until the third quarter of 2010, the firstfourteen units will be delivered in November of 2009 with roughly forty units permonth completed until the third quarter of 2010. Future phases of this project include additional housing, an early learning center,

elementary charter school, YMCA and retail shopping center. Columbia Parcis really the first phase of the redevelopment of an entire neighborhood, known asthe “Bayou District”. The first phase of redevelopment will serve as the catalyst foradditional reinvestment and the model for post-Katrina community revitalization inNew Orleans. 

When asked about the project, Mr. Noel Khalil, founder and CEO of ColumbiaResidential, simply smiled and calmly said: 

This is perhaps the most significant project in the company's history. 

Whether this is in fact true still hangs in the balance, but the future appears bright. 

May
2009
Columbia Residential Ranks #11 in the Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers | Affordable Housing Finance

Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers

Columbia Residential Ranks #11 in the Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers | Affordable Housing Finance

May
2009
Columbia Residential Ranks #34 in the Top 50 Affordable Housing Owners | Affordable Housing Finance

Top 50 Affordable Housing Owners

Columbia Residential Ranks #34 in the Top 50 Affordable Housing Owners | Affordable Housing Finance

- 2008 -

Nov
2008
Columbia Senior Residences at MLK VillageMultifamily Executive Magazine

Multifamily Executive Project of the Year - Mixed-Income

Columbia Senior Residences at MLK Village
Multifamily Executive Magazine

Nov
2008
Columbia Tower Multifamily Executive Magazine

Multifamily Executive Project of the Year - Apartment Renovation

Columbia Tower
Multifamily Executive Magazine

Oct
2008
The Marietta Housing Authority has been awarded $8.3 million in tax credits for its Dorsey Manor renovation project by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Dorsey Project Awarded $8.3M - Marietta Daily Journal

The Marietta Housing Authority has been awarded $8.3 million in tax credits for its Dorsey Manor renovation project by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Jul
2008
 Washington, DC, October 23, 2008—Carol J. Galante, President and CEO of BRIDGE Housing Corp., was named Executive of the Year at the 2008 Multifamily Executive and Developer... read more

2008 Multifamily Executive and Developer Awards

 Washington, DC, October 23, 2008—Carol J. Galante, President and CEO of BRIDGE Housing Corp., was named Executive of the Year at the 2008 Multifamily Executive and Developer Awards gala in Las Vegas. Galante was recognized for her outstanding leadership at the San Francisco-based firm, the largest affordable housing rental developer in California.

- 2006 -

Jan
2006
FORTUNE Magazine

Yes is the Last Word - A Letter From SunAmerica

FORTUNE Magazine

- 2005 -

Nov
2005
A public housing agency is the last place you'd expect to find sophisticated software and masterful use of resources. But under executive director Carl Greene, the Philadelphia... read more

2005 MFE Awards - Merit: Senior - Columbia Heritage Senior Residences

A public housing agency is the last place you'd expect to find sophisticated software and masterful use of resources. But under executive director Carl Greene, the Philadelphia Housing Authority is demolishing such stereotypes, particularly in the area of technology.

Four years ago, the agency spent millions of dollars to purchase PeopleSoft, a software application popular with the private sector, to handle financial and human resources information with greater efficiency. "It's been a significant investment for us," Greene acknowledges. "But it is changing the way we manage our resources," Greene says.

For example, a PeopleSoft-generated work order also serves as a time sheet for the agency's 1,000 maintenance workers. But that's not all. The integrated system combines that information with maintenance inventories, allowing the PHA to accurately track its maintenance inventories, performance, and staff time. It has worked well–the agency is now expanding the initiative to include customer relationship management software to better serve its residents.

This increased accountability has paid off in more than productivity. It has also translated into newfound respect for the PHA from the financial community, allowing the agency to continue its ambitious campaign to rehabilitate and rebuild Philadelphia's public housing. "We're very proud of our technology," Greene says. "People see our new properties, but they don't know what's under the hood." –Alison Rice

Read more.

Jul
2005
Perry Homes was once a blighted public housing neighborhood surrounded by landfills and railroad tracks that was a 15-minute drive from downtown. All that's gone now. In its place... read more

Saved by Hope VI - West Highlands at Perry Boulevard - Affordable Housing Finance

Perry Homes was once a blighted public housing neighborhood surrounded by landfills and railroad tracks that was a 15-minute drive from downtown. All that's gone now. In its place stands the city's boldest mixed-use, mixed-income redevelopment, and it's attracting many families and businesses. 

Apr
2005
Living In Atlanta Magazine As soon as Christine Banks read in the paper three years ago about plans to redevelop the infamous Perry Homes site, she knew she wanted to live there.... read more

West Highlands: From Depressed to Delightful - West Highlands Redevelopment

Living In Atlanta Magazine

As soon as Christine Banks read in the paper three years ago about plans to redevelop the infamous Perry Homes site, she knew she wanted to live there. She cut out the article and called the Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) to express her interest in the new northwest Atlanta neighborhood. 

- 2004 -

Dec
2004
Multifamily Executive Magazine When most developers talk about their affordable housing projects, they generally want to build them to look like market-rate projects. But when... read more

A Single-Family Feel: Columbia Estates

Multifamily Executive Magazine

When most developers talk about their affordable housing projects, they generally want to build them to look like market-rate projects. But when Columbia Residential in Atlanta designed the mixed-income Columbia Estates development to replace the Atlanta Housing Authority's Perry Homes, it aimed for something totally different.

Jun
2004
West Highlands is Atlanta's newest in-town residential development that is expected to have 1,000 new single family homes, 460 acres of rolling green hills and old growth trees,... read more

Unveiling of West Highlands at Perry Boulevard - West Highlands Redevelopment

West Highlands is Atlanta's newest in-town residential development that is expected to have 1,000 new single family homes, 460 acres of rolling green hills and old growth trees, 90 acres of parks and green space, an 18-hole public golf course, 780 new rental apartments, $428 million new urbanism development, and 134 new apartment senior community. This community is being developed where the old Perry Homes public housing development once stood. Phase one development is 100% occupied. The neighborhood is a pedestrian-friendly, live-work-play community that will soon be one of the most desirable places to live in Atlanta. YMCA and Butler Street YMCA are planning a new state-of-the-art development in the community.

In 1994, Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) applied for and received a HUD HOPE VI grant of $25.1 million. To make the sprawling residential development a reality, Atlanta Housing Authority successfully leveraged the federal grant into a $428 million public-private venture. Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) partnered with Perry Homes Redevelopment, a joint partnership of Columbia Residential, Brock Built, and Perry Golf Course Development. The principals are Noel Khalil, partner of Columbia Residential, developer for multi-family units; Steve Brock, president of Brock Built Homes, developer for single family units; and Chip Drury, president of Perry Golf Development, developer for the public golf course. Washington Mutual is a lender / partner assisting to increase homeownership opportunities for affordable housing.

Read more.

Jun
2004
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution The beautiful rolling hills of the West Highlands development on Perry Boulevard are wrapped with fluorescent orange fencing surrounding countless... read more

Trees Teach Lesson at West Highlands - West Highlands Redevelopment

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The beautiful rolling hills of the West Highlands development on Perry Boulevard are wrapped with fluorescent orange fencing surrounding countless old-growth trees, protecting them from the construction. 

The massive development, which eventually will include 1,000 single-family homes, 780 new apartments and an 18-hole golf course, will be softened by the presence of trees -- most of them planted more than 40 years ago, when the now-demolished Perry Homes public housing project was developed. 

Jun
2004
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution On a driving tour of new neighborhoods, developer Steve Brock points to a picturesque rock retaining wall behind a subdivision just being built.... read more

Comeback Under Way in Northwest Atlanta - West Highlands Redevelopment

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

On a driving tour of new neighborhoods, developer Steve Brock points to a picturesque rock retaining wall behind a subdivision just being built. He drives by neat new houses with colorful flags out front. He gestures to a view down a tree-lined street that's unobstructed because utility lines are buried. 

The communities are designed to be neighborly places where folks wave and chat from porches to others strolling down sidewalks. 

Jun
2004
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Renee Glover, who has directed the Atlanta Housing Authority for the past decade, strikes more and more people who know her as one of this city's... read more

City is Lucky Glover Made it Her Address

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Renee Glover, who has directed the Atlanta Housing Authority for the past decade, strikes more and more people who know her as one of this city's important reformers. 

Her background could have sent her in very different directions. Born into a privileged black family in Jacksonville, she also grew up in the world of Southern segregation. She got caught up in the politics of the 1960s and '70s -- which led to law school in Boston, then to a Wall Street law firm where she specialized in corporate finance. Later, divorced, she moved to Atlanta. 

Glover practiced law here, too, and Mayor Maynard Jackson put her on the board of the Housing Authority. Before long she was chairing that mismanaged agency; and when two prospective executive directors decided they didn't want the job, she took it herself, "temporarily." 

 

That was in 1994. Glover has been bulldozing government slums and building mixed-income developments ever since. 

- 2003 -

Apr
2003
Atlanta Partners Get it Right the First Time - Columbia Colony Senior Residences, Multifamily Executive

Senior Class

Atlanta Partners Get it Right the First Time - Columbia Colony Senior Residences, Multifamily Executive

Jan
2003
Washington, Jan. 30 — The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today announced the finalists for its 2003 Pillars of the Industry Awards. The Pillars Awards, considered... read more

NAHB Announces Pillars Of The Industry Award Finalists

Washington, Jan. 30 — The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today announced the finalists for its 2003 Pillars of the Industry Awards. The Pillars Awards, considered the most prestigious national awards in the industry, honor excellence in multifamily development, design, marketing, and management.

Finalists were named in 31 categories, including Freddie Mac’s Builder of the Year, the Multifamily Development Firm of the Year, and Property Management Company of the Year.

- 2002 -

Nov
2002
(ATLANTA) – Outstanding achievements in affordable housing were celebrated once again this year when the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) hosted the Second Annual... read more

Columbia Residential Recognized at 2002 Housing Georgia Conference

(ATLANTA) – Outstanding achievements in affordable housing were celebrated once again this year when the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) hosted the Second Annual Housing Georgia Conference and Magnolia Awards Program.

The November 7th event featured presentations from finalists in each of seven categories: Affordable Rental Housing, Creative Partnerships, Emergency Shelter/Services, Homeownership, Local Government Initiatives, Special Needs and Superior Design. A special "Housing Champion" award was also given to recognize ongoing contributions in promoting affordable housing.

Apr
2002
The Atlanta Housing Authority plans to raise a massive live-play community on the former site of a crime-infested public housing complex in southwest Atlanta. An 18-hole golf... read more

Broad Renewal Planned for Perry Homes - West Highlands Redevelopment

The Atlanta Housing Authority plans to raise a massive live-play community on the former site of a crime-infested public housing complex in southwest Atlanta.

An 18-hole golf course to be built atop a closed landfill is a cornerstone of the project. AHA and its private sector partners also plan to build a charter school, library, YMCA and 2,211 housing units in a 462-acre community centered around the old Perry Homes.

Mar
2002
Noel Khalil is a blue-collar kid from the Bronx. He will be a part of two great Atlanta stories—stories that one day will attract the scrutiny of historians.

Atlanta Leads in Turning Slums to Gems - West Highlands Redevelopment

Noel Khalil is a blue-collar kid from the Bronx. He will be a part of two great Atlanta stories—stories that one day will attract the scrutiny of historians.