Officials seek Carver Heights demolition OK

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Carver Heights housing project could soon be just a memoryin the minds of Brookhaven residents, as Housing Authorityofficials informed the board of aldermen Tuesday night that theyplan to demolish the 58-year-old complex.

Housing Authority Director Mike Proffitt said the demolition iscontingent on approval from the federal agency Housing and UrbanDevelopment. The Brookhaven complex, built in 1951, was constructedto the standards of those days and are no longerenergy-efficient.

“It would cost more to bring them to today’s standards than itwould take to build more energy efficient units,” he said.

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Proffitt said there are roughly 50 people who live in thecomplex, and the Housing Authority would make an effort to relocatethem all to other public housing.

“All of these people will have to be relocated,” he said. “Wemight can demolish only part of it until we can get them allrelocated. We’re looking to transfer these people to our othercomplexes.”

Proffitt said a proposed new development will have a mixture oftwo, three and four bedroom homes, with input from an architect tohelp develop the dwellings so that they’re different enough to looklike a subdivision rather than an apartment complex.

It would have 60 family dwelling units on the current site.There is no timetable for construction of the new complex, Proffittsaid.

Ward Two Alderman Terry Bates interjected that the project is inhis ward and that he would like to see some plans as to how the newdevelopment will look. Proffitt told him the demolition project hasto be approved first and told Bates he’s welcome to come to some ofthe Housing Authority meetings if he wanted to track the progressof the project.

“My concern is that it’s going to look a great deal better,”Bates said, adding that he had talked to people who have told himthe new development will be aesthetically pleasing.

Ward Six Alderman David Phillips brought up the subject of smartgrowth as studied by several groups of city officials at a meetinglast week with a city planner from Hernando.

“We simply ask that you make it architecturally pleasing and usethose principles to make it a pleasant environment,” Phillipssaid.

Proffitt assured him the plan is to make the homes attractive,architecturally sound and energy efficient.

“We don’t seek any financial help, just the support of the cityin this endeavor,” Proffitt told the board.

A demolition report will be submitted to HUD. Once it isgranted, steps toward leveling the project will be taken, Proffittsaid.