Sunday, June 5, 2011

Phoenix to use grant to upgrade Summit Apartments

The Summit Apartments near Paradise Valley Mall in northeast Phoenix will serve as the "off-site component" of Phoenix's grant from the federal Housing and Urban Development Department.

The apartments, which the city purchased in 2010, will receive $500,000 from the $20 million Hope VI grant. The rest of the grant will be used to demolish and rebuild a public housing project near downtown Phoenix.

The city also will use $4 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to rehabilitate the Summit location.

Summit is at Windrose Drive and Paradise Village Parkway West, north of the shopping center that includes Target and REI stores. It is across the street from Costco at the mall.

Housing is needed there to support the numerous minimum-wage employees around the mall.

The rehabilitation will have two main aspects, Phoenix Housing Director Kim Dorney said.

- Energy efficiency, to be accomplished by a thorough overhaul of the 206 units. Included will be energy-efficient windows, more efficient heating and cooling units, possibly upgrades to older appliances, new fixtures to reduce water use and desert landscaping.

- Accessibility for disabled residents. Those changes involve elimination of steps, widening doorways, and easing access to kitchen and bathroom fixtures and appliances.

A few safety hazards will be addressed. Landings are deteriorated, for example, making them dangerous.

Work will begin by the end of the year, department spokeswoman Lisa Honebrink said. Completion is expected in eight months after construction starts later this year.

Phoenix purchased the property from Housing and Urban Development after a previous owner, Community Services of Arizona, defaulted on HUD-guaranteed loans. Phoenix paid $1 for the property.

The Housing Department will manage the property, which joins the roster of the city's 3,500 units of public and other affordable housing.

Dorney said Summit Apartments should attract retail workers in the area who can make use of the nearby amenities - a transit center, park and schools.

by Michael Clancy The Arizona Republic Jun. 1, 2011 09:38 AM

Phoenix to use grant to upgrade Summit Apartments

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