Frederic A. Fay Towers is an 11-story multi-family building containing 200 apartment units. Construction of the property was completed in 1976 and is located in the center of the North Jackson Ward (“NJW”) planning area.
Fay Towers is RRHA’s first Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program which allows public housing authorities to convert public housing developments into long-term, project-based Section 8 rental assistance contracts; whereby this conversion also generates access to private debt and equity to address immediate and long-term capital needs through rehabilitation of the property; and whereby existing residents are not permanently relocated.
RRHA commissioned the redevelopment of Fay Towers in 2012 as a RAD project due to the buildings aging infrastructure and significant capital needs. Significant funding was needed to address shot-term and long-term needs to assure the viability of the 200-unit building. Moreover, redevelopment of the project coincides with RRHA’s Strategic Plan goal to “revitalize residential and commercial properties through the creation and improvement of quality affordable housing and the development of mixed use/mixed income planned communities.”
In 2014, RRHA contracted with Community Preservation Development Corporation (CPDC), as a development partner for the redevelopment of Fay Towers. To achieve strategic goals of decreasing concentrations of impoverished families, revitalizing neighborhoods by eliminating blighted influences and creating mixed income communities, the redevelopment of Fay Towers occurred at three (3) off-site locations as part of the redevelopment.
Phase I, was the rehabilitation of the former Highland Park Public High School that was previously converted to senior apartment in 1990 but subsequently was foreclosed in July 2011. The building was purchased by CPDC and the three story building was totally rehabilitated into 77 one bedroom apartment units. Phase II was the conversion of the former Baker Elementary school. The vacant school, located in historic North Jackson Ward approximately three blocks from Fay Towers, was converted to 51 senior one bedroom apartment units. The third phase will be new construction of 72 one bedroom apartments on vacant land in North Jackson Ward. Fay Towers will be demolished and the vacant land absorbed into the Master Plan for North Jackson Ward.
The redevelopment of Fay Towers is proving to be a successful RAD conversion by RRHA. The project addressed many challenges faced by RRHA including, deterioration and obsolescence of Fay Towers, de-concentration of public housing residents, removing vacant blighted conditions while providing quality affordable housing to resident families.