Although work had already begun on the construction of Cleveland Court — the low-income residential facility where current residents of downtown’s Cleveland Summit will reside next year — the groundbreaking wasn’t official until 10 golden shovels were used by local officials and others to slice into the ground’s red clay soil.
The two-story, 78-unit facility will be located on 191 Cedar Lane S.W. off of South Lee Highway. The building is expected to cost $7.1 million, according to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.
THDA Executive Director Ralph Perrey said he was “excited to see the project coming out of the ground.”
“THDA is supporting this project because it will have a far-reaching, positive impact on the city of Cleveland and its residents,” Perrey said. “The development of Cleveland Court will provide modern affordable housing for the city’s most vulnerable residents, while at the same time opening up the downtown area to new businesses opportunities and growth.”
After the project is completed, the current facility — formerly the Cherokee Hotel — will be acquired by the city for future development, which may include renovating the seven-story building into a boutique hotel. The plan is part of Cleveland’s downtown redevelopment initiative, which was unveiled earlier this year.
The former hotel — later renamed Cleveland Summit — was built in 1927, and has been owned by Hoosier Housing Group since 2010. It was converted into a rent-subsidized Section 8 housing facility in 1976.
Currently, residents at Cleveland Summit live in cramped 200 to 250 square-foot apartments that have outdated plumbing and electrical systems.
The new facility will feature larger efficiency and one-bedroom apartments, fully equipped kitchens, individually-controlled HVAC systems, step-free entrances and other handicap-accessible features, according to a THDA press release.
Hoosier Housing Group is utilizing $500,000 from a Tennessee Housing Trust Fund grant to build the new facility. In addition, it is accessing $2.4 million in Low Income Tax Credits, according to Perrey. In addition, the construction is being funded by up to $1 million in grant funding from various sources.
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis thanked the THDA for making the tax credits and grants possible.
“This is a great day for Cleveland and Bradley County,” Davis said.
Cleveland Mayor Kevin Brooks also thanked the THDA for its help.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this,” Brooks said.