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Columbia Housing Notifying Marion St. High-Rise Residents About Anticipated Move

Marion Street High-Rise

Over the last year, Columbia Housing had taken a long hard look at its real estate portfolio to determine what is necessary to provide the best quality, safe, affordable housing to its residents. To that end, the agency expects to build new units; and reposition and upgrade some of its current housing stock to meet that goal. Built in 1975, the Marion Street High-Rise property is at the top of the agency's priority list.

In February 2020, Columbia Housing received the Comprehensive Needs Assessment Report of all building systems and components from Dominion Due Diligence Group (the engineering firm hired to conduct the assessment and analysis). Based on HUD's Total Development Cost schedule, the report concluded the total replacement cost of Marion Street is $20,261,404 and the estimated rehabilitation costs is $16,040,024. Since rehab costs are estimated at 79.17% of replacement costs, the building meets HUD's definition for obsolescence. Armed with that information, Columbia Housing CEO Ivory Mathews says it is best to move the building's residents.

"The safety of the 100+ residents at Marion Street is of utmost concern. We have 56 units that are vacant and uninhabitable due to the leading water supply lines and sewer disposal lines, says Mathews. "All lines at the property are run through a block chase that was coated with a sulfur product used as a fire retardant at the time of construction of the building more than 40 years ago. The building also has many other deferred maintenance items, so we've taken some time to analyze how best to reposition the property and keep the residents safe."

Columbia Housing expects to begin moving residents in May 2021. Comprehensive needs assessments are being conducted for each resident to assist with the transition. In partnership with Brinshore Development, the agency will develop new construction replacement units at its Carter Street property. Below are key milestones completed by staff in anticipation of the move.

  • July/August 2019: Development Team analysis of property
  • September 2019: Issued solicitation for the procurement of Phase 1 Environmental Consultants
  • September 24, 2019: Resident Executive Council Meeting (update on Marion Street Disposition)
  • October 10, 2019: Executive Committee Agenda - contract services for Phase I Environmental Consultants
  • October 17, 2019: Board approved a pool for Environmental Consultants per Resolution 2019-663
  • November 2019: Provided updated communications to HUD on the status of the vacant units and desired plans for securing an early relocation approval & Section 18 Disposition Approval
  • November 2019: Comprehensive Needs Assessment task order issued to Environmental Consultant
  • December 13, 2019: Marion Street Meeting with Residents
  • December/January 2020: Comprehensive Needs Assessment and unit inspections underway
  • January 28, 2020: Resident Executive Council Meeting (update on Marion Street Disposition)
  • February 5, 2020: Marion Street Meeting with Residents
  • February 13, 2020: Received results of Comprehensive Needs Assessment
  • February 25, 2020: Resident Executive Council Meeting (update on Marion Street Disposition)
  • August 17, 2020: Marion Street Meeting with Residents (Socially Distanced Door-to-Door)
  • August 24, 2020: Resident Executive Council Meeting (update on Marion Street Disposition)
  • January 14, 2021: Board Workshop - Marion Street Disposition
  • January 27, 2021: Marion Street Meeting with Residents (Socially Distanced Door-to-Door)

For more information about this project, please click on the Marion Street link.

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