Meridian, MS – October 5, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The City of Meridian celebrated in grand style today—including a parade led by Mayor Cheri Barry—to mark the grand reopening of Frank Berry Courts, an outdated and obsolete public housing complex that has been dramatically transformed into a beautiful, modern, sustainable affordable housing community.
“Frank Berry Courts has a rich legacy of serving Meridian’s low- and moderate-income families, and this redevelopment effort ensures that it will also have a future as quality affordable housing for years to come,” said Ron Turner, Sr., Executive Director of the Meridian Housing Authority, which led the revitalization effort along with its private-sector partner, The Michaels Development Company.
“The revitalized Frank Berry is breathing new life into the whole neighborhood, and we are very grateful for the tremendous support of the city, county, state, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development of this effort,” Turner said.
Originally constructed in 1939 of sturdy brick and siding, Frank Berry Courts was increasing showing its age and lacked adequate building infrastructure, including central heat and air-conditioning, but it was considered essential affordable housing in the city, providing homes for more than 100 families. With the rehabilitation complete, residents can now enjoy updated units, modernized with energy-saving features and appliances, as well as new space for enhanced supportive services.
“We are so grateful for this investment,” said Mayor Barry. “We at the City of Meridian would like to thank the Meridian Housing Authority and The Michaels Development Company for the hard work that went into making this day possible. This is exactly the kind of public-private partnership we need in the “Queen City.’”
The redevelopment of Frank Barry was made possible when the Meridian Housing Authority was awarded an $8.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Additional funding for the $12 million redevelopment effort came from come from the sale of tax-exempt bonds and federal low income housing tax credits.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony drew officials from the city, county, and state, as well as a HUD representative. Area business groups, churches, the Meridian School district and several local non-profit organizations joined Frank Barry residents and executives from the Meridian Housing Authority and The Michaels Organization for the celebration. Students from TJ Harris Elementary, Carver Middle School, and Meridian High participated in the ceremony and the parade, providing the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the entertainment.
“The rehabilitation of Frank Barry has been great for the city –stimulating some 50 jobs—and creating a community we all can be proud of,” said Turner.
About the Meridian Housing Authority: The MHA exists to provide decent, safe and affordable housing opportunities with reasonable accommodations for eligible citizens of Meridian, Mississippi. Additionally, the agency conducts several social service programs that promote self-sufficiency, empowerment and respect. It currently owns and operates 1,215 viable housing units throughout the city of Meridian.
About the Michaels Organization: Michaels Development Company and Interstate Realty Management are part of The Michaels Organization, a family of companies dedicated to excellence in affordable, mixed-income, student, and military housing. Michaels Development Company is the number-one ranked privately held affordable housing owner in the country and in 2010 was named the Multifamily Development Firm of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders. Its sister company, Interstate Realty Management, is an award-winning property and asset management company offering nationally acclaimed social services. Visit www.TheMichaelsOrg.com to learn more.