The Metropolitan Housing Alliance (MHA) will hold its pre-bid meeting Wednesday (Sept. 29) for the final phase of its multimillion-dollar “Redevelopment in the Rock” initiative that began in 2017.
The meeting for the local redevelopment initiative, which has been estimated to have an economic impact in the Little Rock and Central Arkansas area exceeding $100 million, will be begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Sunset Terrace at 2800 S. Battery St. According to MHA officials, COVID-19 protocols will be observed during the meeting and face masks and gloves will be required for all participants.
MHA Chairman Kenyon Lowe Sr. told BlackConsumerNews.com that Wednesday’s kickoff meeting is to familiarize contractors and vendors with bid and contracting opportunities associated with the renovations of the several MHA-owned apartment complexes. All contractors interested in participating in the redevelopment project are invited to attend.
Earlier in September 2017, the first phase of the MHA-led initiative kicked off with the $60 million-plus redevelopment and makeover of 597 public housing units at three downtown developments known collectively as “the Towers.”
The oldest was Fred W. Parris Towers, completed in 1972. It was 14 stories in height with 250 units. Cumberland Tower was next, completed in 1974. It was an 11-story building with 178 units. The last of the three was Jesse Powell Towers, completed in 1975. It is a nine-story tower with 169 units. That three-legged project, one of the largest public housing investments in Arkansas history, was completed in late 2019.
All phases of the redevelopment initiative were made possible in part by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, City of Little Rock, Arkansas Development Finance Agency, U.S. Department of Interior and the Department of Arkansas Heritage State Historic Preservation.
Lowe said the first step of the upcoming phase of MHA’s multiyear redevelopment initiative includes the $40 million-plus renovation of Sunset Terrace, whose master plans envisions a mixed-use, sustainable community village that focuses on healthy living. The second part of the final stage includes extensive renovations at Central High Apartment Homes, Homes at Granite Mountain, Madison Heights I & II, and Stephens Apartment.
“Poor people need good things too,” said Lowe.
Formed in 1941, the MHA, formally known as The Housing Authority of the City of Little Rock (LRHA), is the fourth oldest and largest housing authority in the state of Arkansas. Today, MHA’s housing stock includes a total of 902 traditional public housing units, with an additional 200 affordable housing units, and 158 market-rate units located in mixed finance properties. Combined MHA provides housing assistance through its various housing programs to more than 8,000 individuals.
The MHA Board of Commissioners consists of five members serving five-year terms appointed by the Little Rock mayor and approved by the city board of directors. In addition to Wednesday’s pre-bid meeting, MHA is also accepting request for proposals (RFP) for an executive search firm to assist the authority’s board in hiring a new executive director.
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