Chauncey project ahead of schedule
Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 13, 2001
Those interested in a one-bedroom apartment at the Chauncey Apartment complex in Austin should put their names on the waiting list soon.
Saturday, January 13, 2001
Those interested in a one-bedroom apartment at the Chauncey Apartment complex in Austin should put their names on the waiting list soon. Members of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board of Commissioners discussed on Wednesday that to date 70 of 81 apartments are spoken for. The remaining 11 apartments are one bedrooms.
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HRA Executive Director Kermit Mahan said that the HRA is currently working to obtain the Kokalaris property at the corner of First Avenue and Second Street NE. Residents may recognize it as a karate studio. The property will serve "a compelling need," said Mahan. Plans are to demolish the brick building to create parking for residents and visitors of both the Twin Towers and Chauncey Apartments.
Construction on the Chauncey Apartments is moving along ahead of schedule. Finish molding and painting are being completed on the first, second and third floors of the west half of the building. Appliances and cabinets are already being installed. Workers are currently rocking the east half of the building.
Mahan said that the expected completion date is March 15, in preparation for an April 1 opening. The HRA has recently begun advertising for a caretaker/manager and Mahan stresses that they are an equal opportunity employer.
The HRA has been looking into possibly interfacing with The Welcome Center, Semcac and the Salvation Army on building a three-bedroom duplex as transitional housing for newcomers to Austin. The location in mind for the duplex currently houses Bud and Bob’s (a tax forfeited site), a vacant yellow house and a vacant lot.
City Councilman Dick Lang warned that the HRA should be sure not to tread on the livelihood of those in Austin who rent properties. Mahan said that if a private investor was interested in developing such a duplex, the HRA "would stand back and let them go at it."
Mahan said that the HRA has finished acquiring the railroad yard property. Jones-Haugh & Smith Inc. will be identifying the subsurface and surface areas so that demolition can take place and the area can be cleared. After the area is cleared, the next step will be soil correction. Though this is all in the programming and planning phases right now, Mahan projects a timeframe of this summer.
Sixteen of the 17 properties around the airport have been acquired, which almost completes phase I of the project.
"We’ve had challenges," said Mahan, "but that’s the name of the game."
Ninety percent of the acquired homes will be purchased and hauled away. Some residents will still be in their homes until the spring, and then they will leave so the homes can be purchased and moved.
The first shoveling of dirt to mark the beginning of the Murphy’s Creek project should take place some time in early spring.
"It was a tough job that was agonized over, but I think we’re headed in the right direction," said Mahan.
In another action by the board, City Councilman-at-Large Dick Chaffee was approved as vice-chairman and City Councilwoman Mickey Jorgenson was named as secretary.