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Affordable senior housing opens along Scott Boulevard near Decatur

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Affordable senior housing opens along Scott Boulevard near Decatur

Tapestry Development Group and Columbia Residential held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, May 27, for the grand opening of Stride Residence. Members of the development team, state and county officials, financial lenders and staff of the residence gathered to cut the ribbon. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

This story has been updated. 

DeKalb County, GA — New affordable senior housing has opened near Decatur. Tapestry Development Group and Columbia Residential celebrated the grand opening of the Stride Senior Residences with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, May 27.

The $19 million project delivered 90 units of affordable housing and mixed-income housing at 651 Decatur Village Way in the Decatur Crossing Community Park. The development is located near the intersection of Scott Boulevard and North Decatur Road.

In addition to the affordable senior housing, Decatur Crossing’s three phases contain about 94,000 square feet of commercial space, including three grocery stores, 14,000 square feet of office space and over 950 apartments. Tapestry Development Group and Columbia Residential obtained the Stride property in 2017 and broke ground in May 2019, according to a press release.

The residence is just across the street from Aldi, Dunkin Donuts and Chick-fil-A and is within walking distance of Sprouts. The facility is also located within walking distance of professional service options, DeKalb Medical Center and MARTA bus lines.

Stride Senior Residences is a transit-oriented community that provides critical affordability to a high cost area. Eighty percent of the units serve seniors below 60% of the average median income and is located 10 minutes north of downtown Decatur, according to the press release.

The grand opening of the Stride Residence was on Thursday, May 27. The development includes 90 units of affordable senior housing. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

The 26-acre mixed-use development was done by Fuqua Development. It is in unincorporated DeKalb County on the former brownfield of a former automotive dealership and Scott Boulevard Baptist Church.

“There was a great deal of development interest in this whole triangle between Scott Boulevard, Church Street and North Decatur Road,” DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader said at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “But the community was very interested in making sure that the development that occurred there was a long term benefit to the community, that it served all the needs that we had here and that it would turn out to be an extraordinary place and welcoming to people from all backgrounds and from all stations in their lives.”

The first phase of the development saw retail space and multi-family units being built but as development was proposed for the Stride area the county wanted to make sure the housing wasn’t just targeted toward a narrow market segment, Rader said.

“As so often happens, housing must be focused on the particular segments in the community that need that housing and frankly with the housing boom that we’ve seen in the past 10 years, particularly in this part of the county, we see the increasing need for both affordable housing as well as housing that is specifically tailored for people at different points in their lifecycle,” Rader said.

He added that when people need to downsize their housing, that is often the hardest thing to do and Stride does a good job of doing that.

The development also prioritized energy conservation and sustainability measures. Other amenities at the residence include a shared community park, a community garden, a movie theater room, a fitness center, a computer room, a community room with a kitchen and free WiFi in common areas.

The grand opening of the Stride Residence was on Thursday, May 27. One of the amenities of the affordable housing development is a community garden. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

The development was financed largely through an allocation of 9% federal and state low-income housing tax credits issued by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and Home Investment Partnership funds from DeKalb County Community Development, the press release says.

Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital is a permanent lender for the project and the loan lasts for 40 years, said Jeff Mion, senior vice president of Bellwether Enterprise.

“We’re really proud,” Tapestry Development Group President Jon Toppen said at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “It feels like it’s a really good fit for this part of the community and to bring affordable housing to this part of DeKalb County.”

DeKalb County Community Development Director Allen Mitchell that the partnership the county has with the development groups and was excited about the significance of the project “because affordable housing is a key goal within DeKalb County,” he said.

It’s next to impossible to keep up with demand, affordable housing can’t be built fast enough, said Jill Cromartie, director of housing development and finance department of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

“It’s always a wonderful time when we are bringing affordable housing units to the market, especially for our senior community,” Cromartie said at the ribbon cutting. “It’s also a major feat to have a property such as this within walking distance or close proximity to restaurants, retailers, banks and grocers.”

“Together we are changing lives one property and one community at time,” she added.

A look into the kitchen in one of the units of the Stride Residence, 90-units of affordable senior housing. The grand opening of the facility was held on Thursday, May 27. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

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