ALBANY – In a vacant space once known for crack houses and dilapidated residences, a new housing development that will offer children’s programs, health services and details to bring a sense of community soon will begin rising.
Located between East Broad Avenue and Clark Avenue in east Albany, the Dogwood Trails apartment complex will feature a clubhouse and community garden to invite people to come out of their residences and be part of the community.
The complex will feature 64 units, and developer Mitchell Davenport already is planning for an additional 48 units.
Albany City Manager Sharon Subadan said the project has been in the works for about two years and provides a great opportunity to turn a former area of blight into a vibrant part of the community. The project became possible after Davenport secured low-income tax credits.
“Projects like this are not just about tearing it down, it’s about putting something in its place,” Subadan said.
The Boys & Girls Clubs plans to have a program based at the location, and Albany Area Primary Health Care will make monthly wellness visits.
New, energy-efficient apartments will help those who live there have more manageable utility bills, Subadan said.
“That will allow it to be sustainable,” the city manager said. “They’ll be able to pay their bills, to improve their lives. A lot of affordable housing is for (people like) firefighters, school teachers – people who make decent pay but find it hard to find housing.”
In addition to the planned 112 units, Davenport said a strip along Clark Avenue will be available for retail development that can serve the residents and surrounding neighborhood.
“We’re going to try to get businesses involved in the process,” he said.
The developer said he expects work to begin on the first phase of the $8.5 million project in about 30 days.
“This was a great opportunity to do something in the community,” Davenport said.
“There’s a big, big housing demand here.”