New Community Place
147 Units of housing in the Kinsman neighborhood has been rehabilitated to provide disadvantaged families a safe, affordable, and healthy home.
The project, named New Community Place, entailed the renovation of both Community Apartments and partially rehabilitated townhomes at Hill Place. Both Community Apartments and Hill Place are located in the 7000 block of Woodland Avenue.
As the complex has aged, problems with the design and functionality of Community Apartments became more apparent. Individual dwelling units were small and cramped, and were no longer suitable for meeting the needs of today’s families. They were extremely energy-inefficient. The manner in which buildings were situated created awkward, less visible spaces that made residents and visitors feel unsafe.
Hill Place, formerly East Woodland Estates, was in the midst of a renaissance in the mid- to late-2000’s. During that time, thirty families bought into the vision for a robust, revitalized community. However, that vision failed to be fully realized when redevelopment ceased due to worsening national economic conditions in 2007. With a lack of potential buyers because of the coincident collapse of the housing market, the developer at the time no longer possessed the resources to finish the project nor perform common area maintenance and upkeep of the property for existing homeowners. The unfinished and unsold townhomes remained partially complete, unoccupied, and in foreclosure.
For years, BBC and public officials diligently sought to address the issue of the partially completed townhomes and fulfill the vision for Hill Place when a potential solution involving Community Apartments was imagined in 2010. BBC, along with the Orlean Company and PIRHL Developers, submitted for Housing Credits twice from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency before being awarded an allocation on the second submission in 2012. This and other funding allowed for both Community Apartments and the unfinished units at Hill Place, together New Community Place, to be fully rehabilitated.
The plan for Community Apartments called for a reduction in the density to relieve overcrowding. To achieve this goal, units were reconfigured and reapportioned so that they are increased in size by 50%. Additionally, some interior units were demolished to create smaller buildings that would allow for better sightlines. A centralized community space that includes a clubhouse was also incorporated into plans.
The units to be eliminated in the de-densification of Community Apartments were restored at Hill Place so that no affordable housing was lost in the redevelopment process. This rehabilitation allowed for the vision for Hill Place to be brought into fruition.
Construction on New Community Place was completed in 2015.