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Columbia Residential plans to renovate East Lake Highrise

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Columbia Residential plans to renovate East Lake Highrise

East Lake. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Atlanta, GA — The East Lake Neighborhood Community Association (ELNCA) met via Zoom on Monday, April 11, at 7 p.m. for their monthly meeting.

Here are the major highlights of Monday’s meeting:

Renovations to the 1971 East Lake Highrise development

East Lake Highrise is an existing 149-unit senior housing development located at 380 Eva Davis Way SE in Atlanta. Columbia Residential, a real estate development firm that specializes in building affordable housing for families, seniors, and special needs populations, is partnering with the Atlanta Housing Authority to renovate the high rise.

Kris Bryant, project manager with Columbia Residential for the development, spoke about the renovations during the meeting, highlighting the importance of preserving affordability throughout the project.

“Through the partnership with Atlanta Housing, [Columbia Residential is] providing rental subsidies through a 20-year project-based voucher project,” Bryant added. “This is important because these vouchers allow residents not to pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent.”

Bryant added that East Lake Highrise was built in 1971, and since then, “very little work has been done on the building.” He estimates the project will cost a little over $30 million.

“It’s in need of an extensive renovation to essentially bring the property back to market-quality standards, and more importantly, to deal with some of the building system issues and envelope issues that we’re currently having at the property,” Bryant added.

The renovation will be comprehensive, updating all 149 units. This will include:

– Updates to the interior 

– The replacement of most major systems, such as the HVAC and electrical systems, plumbing, fire life safety and elevator systems

– Updating the building envelope with more insulation, energy-efficient windows and finishes

– Upgraded amenities, such as a wellness room, computer/business center, equipped fitness center, laundry room, community room and outdoor gathering area

Bryant said that the construction is anticipated to take 16-18 months, with hopes to begin at the end of 2022. In addition, Columbia Residential will provide assistance to every resident for temporary relocation offsite as well as their move back onsite.

Two $500 scholarships approved for senior at Maynard Jackson, Drew Charter

One of the items that the Social & Fundraising Committee brought forward for approval was for two $500 scholarships – one for a senior from Maynard Jackson High School and one for a senior from Drew Charter School. Lucas said that they’re “very excited to be able to put this money back in the community in this way.”

At this time, there is not a specific selection process in place, since the scholarships were approved during Monday’s meeting. However, the ELNCA will be working with both Drew Charter and Maynard Jackson to determine if they have blind committees in place to  review scholarship applications. 

If not, the ELNCA will work with a committee made up of community members (no ELNCA Board members) to review scholarship applications and determine recipients.

Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday at East View Cemetery

This Saturday, April 16, there will be an Easter Egg hunt at the East View Cemetery from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. It’s a free event for children and families with a craft activity and food trucks on site.

President of ELNCA Kristine Lucas said that using the East View Cemetery for events like these is a big benefit to the community. They’re always looking for more volunteers for work days at the cemetery, as well as donations to help support the maintenance of the cemetery.

In addition, Lucas highlighted the importance of routine upkeep for the space by picking up after dogs and properly disposing of trash.

East Lake Patrol

The East Lake Patrol is working on a fundraising plan for 2022 to support officer patrol hours throughout the summer. Patrol hours include vacation patrols, community patrols, park checks, business drop-ins, and vehicle investigations.

In addition, The ELP and Karla Baldini have been working with the ELNCA and City Councilmember, Liliana Bakhtiari, to improve East Lake Park. The following initiatives have been approved for 2022:

– Green Ave – bordering the park between Alston Drive and Memorial Drive – will be converted to a one-way street with diagonal parking spaces added along the park’s border. This will help increase the number of available parking spaces and create a safer traffic flow around the park.

– Trees around the park will be trimmed to improve sight lines for drivers, pedestrians and officers patrolling the park.

– A rubber walking path will be installed along the perimeter of the park for safer pedestrian activity and dog walking.

– General park maintenance and aesthetic updates will be made, such as painting park benches and pavilions.

For more information about ELP, click here.

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