Shreveport's University Oaks I & II 'Reborn' as Cypress Landing Apartments

The Housing Authority of the City of Shreveport and The Michaels Organization Mark the Dramatic Transformation of Affordable Housing Community with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

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The newly transformed Cypress Landing Apartments

Rehabilitating and preserving this affordable housing was extremely cost-effective

Shreveport, Louisiana (PRWEB) April 09, 2014

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover headlined a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, where city, state, and federal officials joined with residents and neighbors to mark the “grand reopening” of Cypress Landing, formerly known as University Oaks I & II.

The celebration, hosted by the Housing Authority of the City of Shreveport and its private sector partner, The Michaels Organization, capped a year-long rehabilitation effort that has completely transformed the failing property into a beautiful, modern, energy-efficient housing community, affordable to Shreveport families earning 60 percent or less of the Area’s Median Income. These resident families also have access to services and amenities they never had before — including a fitness center, a computer lab, and a community room for recreational and supportive service activities.

“The Housing Authority of the City of Shreveport is committed to preserving and expanding affordable housing opportunities, and Cypress Landing is now one of our premiere mixed-financed developments,” said Richard Herrington, Jr., HACS’ Executive Director. Herrington added that he is grateful to both the city and the state for their strong support of the housing authority’s efforts to improve neighborhoods and enhance the lives of Shreveport’s families with low and moderate incomes.

“Rehabilitating and preserving this housing was also extremely cost-effective, with the per unit cost less than half of what it would have been for a newly constructed development,” Herrington said.

Once the renovation started, everything came together seamlessly, said Milton Pratt, Jr. Senior Vice President of The Michaels Development Company. “The entire scope of the job was accomplished on time and under budget, and the construction generated 49 jobs for the local community,” Pratt said.

HACS placed a high priority on incorporating green building components into Cypress Landing to conserve energy and reduce long-term operating costs. The design also called for better integrating the property into the surrounding neighborhood and incorporating open and green spaces—both of which were accomplished.

The major challenge was making a 1970s-era apartment community look, feel, and operate like new, said Russell Maynard, Senior Vice President of Prestige Building Company, which served as the general contractor. Prestige removed the mansard roofs, replacing them with all new gabled pitched roofs and new siding, repaved the parking lots, installed new sidewalks, fixed the wrought-iron steps and fencing, and redid the landscaping. In addition, all the mechanical systems and the entire electrical system as well as the plumbing were replaced and upgraded to incorporate energy efficiency. Inside the units, the bathrooms and kitchens were gutted and replaced, and laundry rooms were added to each unit for the first time. New plank flooring was installed in each apartment. Additionally, 14 units were thoroughly renovated to be ADA accessible.

The apartment’s community center was also totally reconfigured to include a gathering room with kitchen, a fitness room, a computer lab with internet access, and an office for the property manager. The old laundry facility, which was isolated and obsolete, was converted to maintenance storage space.

Funding for the the $11.4 million renovation came primarily from $9.5 million in private equity raised through the sale of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits. US Bank invested in the tax credits, which were syndicated by Prestige Affordable Housing Equity Partners, LLC. The remaining funds came from the Housing Authority and the City.

Additional partners on the Cypress Landing revitalization team included SGB Architects and Interstate Realty Management, which will provide provide professional property management services to Cypress Landing, ensuring it remains a community asset long into the future.

About HACS
The Housing Authority of the City of Shreveport (HACS) provides quality affordable housing to low-income families and individuals through the effective and efficient administration of housing assistance programs. Established in 1940. HACS is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners. Each commissioner is appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council. HACS is responsible for overseeing the management of more than 4600 housing units scattered throughout the city of Shreveport.

About The Michaels Organization
The Michaels Development Company, Interstate Realty Management, and Prestige Building Company are all part of The Michaels Organization, a family of integrated but independent companies dedicated to excellence in affordable, military and student housing. Serving more than 100,000 residents in 360 communities across 34 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and with a development portfolio valued in excess of $3.5 billion, The Michaels Organization is a national leader in the residential real estate industry, with full service capabilities in development, property and asset management, construction, mortgage finance, and tax credit syndication. Visit http://www.TheMichaelsOrg.com for more information.


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