Columbia Residential celebrates the renovation of James Allen Jr. Place, formerly Hightower Manor Apartments, in Atlanta

Columbia Residential Celebrates Renovation of James Allen Jr. Place With Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

For Immediate Release
October 30, 2023

The $36M renovation of 40-year-old multifamily property preserves 129 affordable apartment homes and features on-site primary healthcare services from Matter Health

ATLANTA, GA – Today, Columbia Residential hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the renovation of James Allen Jr. Place, formerly Hightower Manor Apartments, located at 2610 MLK Jr. Dr. SW, Atlanta, GA 30311.

James Allen Jr. Place is an existing affordable multifamily development located in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. Built in 1982, the 40-year-old property was in need of an extensive renovation to bring the property to market quality standards, address significant system and building envelope issues, and sustain this vital affordable housing community for the future. The property consists of 129 one-bedroom apartment homes for residents who are 55 and older and for persons with disabilities without age restrictions. Residents relocated during the renovation receive first priority and relocation assistance to return to the property.

James Allen Jr. Place has now been fully renovated and preserved, and new community amenities have been added to enhance the residents’ living experience and meet resident needs. The new amenities include an arts & crafts room, movie theater, and package room. The existing common areas, community room, laundry room, computer room, meeting room, and fitness room have been either enlarged and/or reconfigured to provide more functionality for the residents and to meet the current standards. The community is gated and served by surface parking, new elevators, and a covered entry for pick-ups/drop-offs. Additionally, the building includes a primary healthcare clinic exclusive to residents through Matter Health. This development delivers 129 units to Mayor Dickens’ goal of creating or preserving 20,000 units of affordable housing over eight years. It also provides affordable housing to minimize the displacement of longtime residents as the cost of living in the neighborhood has steadily increased.

The grand opening celebration, attended by community residents, development partners and community dignitaries included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with remarks from the following:

Carmen Chubb, President, Columbia Residential
● Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens
● Dr. Eloisa Klementich , President & CEO, Invest Atlanta
● Tommy Lowmon, Director, Georgia Department of Community Affairs
● Eugene Jones, Jr., President & CEO Atlanta Housing
● Councilmember Andrea Boone, District 10, City of Atlanta
● Austin Sohr , President & Co-Founder, Matter Health
● Michael Marra, Director, Wells Fargo

Atlanta Housing (AH), Invest Atlanta (IA), and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) were key partners in the redevelopment. IA issued $12.8 million in tax-exempt bonds. DCA allocated $1.5 million in low-income housing tax credits, and AH provided $2 million in GAP financing along with project-based rental subsidies for all 129 units. Wells Fargo provided the equity and construction/permanent financing. The redevelopment costs total approximately $36 million.

“Housing is a human right and a foundational building block for Atlanta families. This is why my Administration has made historic investments to help meet our housing challenges head-on,” said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. “James Allen Jr Place Apartment Homes is a group project, thanks to partners like Columbia Residential, Atlanta Housing, Invest Atlanta, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Matter Health, Wells Fargo. Together, we will preserve these affordable units and also be able to provide service to some of our legacy residents as well as some younger disabled residents.”

“Columbia Residential is honored to have been asked to lead the renovation and redevelopment of James Allen Jr. Place in partnership with Atlanta Housing, Invest Atlanta, and DCA. The preservation and renovation of this historic community, which provides residents with on-site healthcare and easy access to MARTA, also delivers on the Mayor’s goal of preserving affordable housing in Atlanta.” Carmen Chubb, President, Columbia Residential

“This $36 million renovation of James Allen Jr. Place demonstrates what we can achieve when working collaboratively with the public and private sectors. Atlanta Housing is proud to play a vital role in the renovation and long-term affordability of this historic property, and we are pleased to honor a dedicated lifelong Atlanta housing leader, James Allen Jr.” Eugene Jones, Jr., President & CEO, Atlanta Housing

“James Allen Jr. Place is important as both a historic neighborhood and an example of
community revitalization that involves many partners working together. DCA is proud to be a
long-time partner in the recapitalization, renovations, and preservations that provide quality
affordable housing for our deserving citizens both now and in the future.” Tommy Lowmon,
Division Director, Georgia Department of Community Affairs

“Like many cities across the country, Atlanta’s senior population is growing, making investments in places like James Allen Jr. Place vital to the economic and cultural vibrancy of our city,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “Creating more opportunities for longtime residents to age in place as so many wish to do is a pillar of our affordable housing strategy. Hence, I am proud that during Mayor Dickens’ administration, Invest Atlanta has financed the creation or rehabilitation of more than 1,200 housing units for seniors in neighborhoods across the city.”

“The barriers to holistic healthcare are real for elderly communities living within affordable
housing such as James Allen Jr. Place. We continuously see that lower-income seniors miss
preventative healthcare appointments and lack the tools to consistently manage their chronic conditions, which has led to over usage of hospitals and ambulances for this population. These challenges can be solved with convenient healthcare, which is why we’ve embedded our healthcare services within James Allen Jr. Place. We look forward to significantly improving the lives of these residents through consistent, convenient, and quality healthcare.” Austin Sohr, President & Co-Founder, Matter Health

“Our partnership with Columbia Residential is fundamental to Wells Fargo’s commitment to
stable, affordable housing to support economic mobility.” Michael Marra, Vice President, Wells Fargo

About Columbia Residential
Founded in 1991 by the late Noel Khalil, Columbia Residential is an award-winning Atlanta-based developer, owner, and manager of affordable and mixed-income housing. Having just celebrated its 32nd anniversary, the company manages just over 10,000 affordable and mixed-income housing apartments in Georgia, Texas, Florida, and Louisiana. Columbia also maintains an active development pipeline, building, preserving, and delivering high-quality, sustainable developments. In 2023, this includes completion of four (4) new or renovated communities totaling over 511 apartment homes, and starting two (2) new communities starting construction by the end of the year totaling 211 apartment homes. Columbia Residential makes a lasting commitment to each community it plans, builds, and manages by providing a continuum of stewardship that powers long-term investments. The company’s unique approach to property management includes an innovative model for resident services, including comprehensive on-site programming along with additional resources provided through strategic partnerships with local entities that foster a strong home life and growth mindset for every resident. For more information, please visit
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