September Community Conversation Recap: Multi-Family Housing
On Thursday, September 14, we hosted another community gathering centered around the progress and community feedback on our multi-family housing development. (You can read about the previous conversation here.) The discussion included Sabathani CEO Scott Redd, developer Miranda Walker, and Community Energy Project Partner Janet Brown, alongside approximately 15 community members.
The evening commenced with introductions and an overview of the current and upcoming programs at Sabathani. Redd shed light on the origins of all our new programming, citing the Community Needs Assessment conducted over the past year as the driving force. The assessment sought community input to determine what Sabathani programs to preserve, change, or create. Redd and Brown talked about the Community Energy Project, which seeks to address high asthma rates within the community, improve the building’s Energy Star rating, and minimize its carbon footprint.
The gathering transitioned into detailed updates regarding the multi-family housing development. Redd expressed the heart of the initiative: the belief that secure housing fundamentally transforms lives, allowing individuals to focus on their health, education, and overall prosperity. Driven by this vision, Sabathani partnered with Phenomenal Women, a company led by developer Miranda Walker and architect Damaris Hollingsworth, with the goal of creating multi-family housing that will provide residents an opportunity to save and potentially become homeowners if they choose.
Walker shared that the project is still in its early funding stages, with applications submitted to the county, city, and state. The funding proposals affirm that the building will consist of 70+ units, all priced affordably according to the city’s standards.
A shading study was shared at the meeting, detailing the shadows that the new structure will cast on neighboring homes’ backyards at various times of the day, different times of the year. Attendees who were residents of these homes asked for an extension of the study into later evening hours, a request that has since been fulfilled. You can view the shading study here.
Walker outlined the upcoming phases of the project, emphasizing preparations for additional funding opportunities, including discussions with corporate sponsors and city and state representatives. Once funding is secured, the project will transition into the design phase.
The meeting continued with a question-and-answer session, where attendees sought clarifications on various aspects of the project. Here are a few highlights:
Rainwater Catchment: The existing catchment for rainwater will no longer exist, and rainwater will be redirected, likely to underwater storage tanks under the new building.
Building Layout and Parking: Adjusting the building’s width would result in parking loss or utility rerouting, necessitating adherence to the existing layout.
Community Impact Considerations: The project commenced with a focus on community needs, demographics, and feasible financial aspects, prioritizing the neighborhood’s interests.
Funding and Project Adjustments: If not fully funded, the project’s programming and unit types may be reevaluated to align with available resources.
Amenities and Rent: Amenities are still being determined, but currently include plans for a community room, underground parking, enhanced security, hard-surface flooring, healthier building materials, bike room to store bikes, onsite property management, in-unit laundry, and a roof that is solar-ready. Rent rates will vary based on affordability criteria, with a maximum of $1500 for a 3-bedroom unit.
We plan to meet with community again in the new year once funding is finalized and the design is in development, but Sabathani is open to arranging for another meeting sooner if there is a need expressed from the community. We also welcome continued inquiries or feedback regarding the new multi-family development at email@example.com.