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Feb. 13, 2013

Third Phase of Decatur Development Set to Begin

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Decatur, Ga.—The Decatur Housing Authority (DHA) is preparing to break ground on the third phase of the $30 million redevelopment of the Allen Wilson Terrace Public Housing community. When the entire project is completed, the property will offer 191 units of housing for low-income families and seniors in Decatur, a suburb of Atlanta.

Phase III, which is slated for completion in early 2014, will consist of seven buildings, including two 20-unit row-style apartment buildings and five smaller buildings in a cluster home setting. All of the buildings will be three stories, with flats on the ground floor and two-story townhomes above. In total, Phase III will include 71 apartments, along with an equipped playground, a separate play area for toddlers, a community garden, a laundry facility and a half-mile landscaped walking trail.

Designed in a traditional style of brick, cast stone and stucco by Aiken Housing Design Partners of Atlanta, one of the goals of the new structures is to blend in with Decatur’s ongoing redevelopment. The redevelopment also has a number of green features, including a 50 kWh photovoltaic solar power generation system, rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation, thermally efficient windows, and spray foam insulation in all walls and attic spaces.

The redevelopment of Allen Wilson Terrace began when a master plan was completed for the entire project, with special emphasis placed on exceeding the standards of Southface Energy Institute’s EarthCraft Communities and EarthCraft Multifamily certification. Demolition of the 70-year-old existing buildings began in 2007, and throughout the phased redevelopment, care has taken to minimize disruption to the residents, and to insure that the maximum number of affordable apartments was retained, according to the DHA.

After a competitive bid process, the DHA tasked Savannah-based NorSouth Constructs to build both Phase II and Phase III of the property. Phase II included Oliver House, a senior apartment building, which was recently named EarthCraft Multifamily 2012 Project of the Year by Southface and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.