Thursday, February 09, 2012

CityWalk@Akard. . .it's what we do

My office is located in a 15-story building first built in 1958 to house offices for the Southern Baptist Convention's Annuity Board. 

Between 2006 and 2010, after sitting vacant for over 20 years, the building was transformed via a complete "gut rehab." 

The finished product?  A mixed income, mixed use multifamily/retail-office development on the Arts District side of Downtown Dallas.  Frankly, the building, the financial strategy that made its renewal possible, the partners who office with us and the approximately 240 men, women and children who call the place home make CityWalk@ Akard an amazing place to say the very least.

Of course, the people make the place tick, better, hum!

Artists, musicians, formerly homeless, persons on the verge of becoming homeless, dishwashers, waiters, construction workers, the disabled and the discarded all call this place home. 

7-11 provides energy on the ground floor.  Enterprise Partners occupy about half of the second floor.  The administrative, development, and law offices of CitySquare, along with the owner/developer of the building, the Central Dallas Community Development Corporation, fill the third floor.  Other tenants are discussing occupying the open spaces on levels one and two. 

Floors four through fourteen offer 200 units of affordable housing for our residents.  Half of the units are set aside for the formerly homeless (when you get a home you are no longer in the category!) and those in danger of becoming homeless.  Half of the units are "means tested" by the tax credit rules, meaning that a person may earn up to about $27,000 and still live in the building.  Those earning above that ceiling are not eligible to live with us.

The top floor is divided into 6 condo spaces that are for sale at market rates to more affluent residents.  Two units have sold.  Four remain on the market. 

The place is a "real trip."  People find themselves in various states of weakness, vulnerability and distress.  Folks are glad to be there.  Folks battled addiction, memories and wounds from tough lives on the streets. 

We are present to direct the much broader, overall work of CitySquare, but also to love the people, to organize the people and to work at building a viable community of health and redemption. 

It is hard.

It is joyous.

It is what we do.


Anonymous said...

Does the place include a "Formerly Presidential Suite?" Or, will the Obamas return to Chicago?

Anonymous said...

May God Bless All of Ya!