Boynton Tower Two to get a facelift; CHA plans to relocate 87 senior citizens

Boynton Terrace Apartments is shown in this 2014 file photo.

Residents of the Chattanooga Housing Authority's Boynton Terrace Tower Two are being relocated so the building can be renovated.

The Chattanooga Housing Authority on Tuesday approved a renovation contract of nearly $272,000 with Elemi Architects.

"Essentially, we've got to do these upgrades," said CHA board Vice President Jim Sattler. "That means it's going to be an inconvenience."

The 87 senior citizens who will have to move include a 100-year-old-woman, people with disabilities and some residents who speak little or no English. CHA will pay relocation fees to residents and assist them with moving.

Elemi Architects will provide architectural, engineering and environmental services for the renovation.

CHA has 55 units of public housing available for residents who need to relocate. Residents may also opt for Housing Choice that let them rent from private landlords, or to live with family members outside of public housing, said CHA's Ann Martin, who will assist with relocation.

All residents must be out of the building by January, CHA vice president of development Naveed Minhas. Abatement starts in February. Construction starts in March.

This is the first major renovation since the building was built in the early 1970s, said Mike Sabin, CHA's director of low income public housing.

The renovation is necessary and a part of providing good housing, he said.

The CHA board also approved a memorandum of understanding with the Tennessee Board of Parole that will allow parole employees to share office space with CHA police in College Hill Courts.

CHA Police Chief Felix Vess said people could start seeing more state cars in College Hill Courts by next week as the parole board seeks to increase its presence in the community.

"They want to get out of their office and into the community," Vess said.

CHA attorney Larry Cash added that the shared office space is no cost to the housing authority.

Board members approved ALCO Management Inc. as its new management partner for its Hope VI and mixed income properties at the Villages at Alton Park, the Oaks at Camden and Maple Hills Apartments.

The development and management company is based in Memphis and has a regional office in Nashville. Philadelphia-based Pennrose Properties proposed the new management company after having a large turnover in staff.

"[Pennrose] thought they could provide a better quality of service with a local provider. They've been trying to manage this thing from Philadelphia. Although it's not impossible to do that they felt that ALCO could do a better job because they have a huge Tennessee presence," said CHA Executive Director Betsy McCright.

In other business, the board also approved taking special action to house veterans in cooperation with the city's efforts to end veteran homelessness by 2015.

The agency has set aside 150 Housing Choice Vouchers for homeless people, and the board agreed to give preference to homeless veterans.

CHA board Chairman Eddie Holmes said the best part of Tuesday's meeting was acknowledging the 13 graduates in CHA's Upward and Onward summer youth program.

The teens traveled to the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Ala., to Tennessee's state capital in Nashville and to Washington, D.C., where they met with U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann. The group also visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

"My hope for the entire program is to expose the students to new and different experiences," McCright said.

Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at yputman@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6431.