Late in 2014, the city of Atlanta was searching for a strong non-profit partner to take on the ownership and operations of a 100 unit senior property in the Lakewood section of Atlanta. Lakewood is on the east side of central Atlanta, south of Georgia State University and north of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. In the early 2000s the neighborhood had been the target of significant public sector investment, motivating that interest in some of the strongest community developers in the area to develop large, well-appointed townhome and condo communities with easy access to transportation corridors and open space. Park Place South is one such community with 239 townhomes flanking the senior property on a beautifully landscaped site containing a clubhouse, pool, walking paths and lovely views.
The property became available after the original developer ran into problems. Mercy Housing Southeast’s (MHSE) winning response to the competition allows Mercy Housing to secure a high-quality, long-term housing option for seniors 55 and older in a lovely setting.
Despite its stable market area, solid construction, location in a QCT and manageable scale, the Renaissance suffered from lack of attention. On March 1, the Mercy Housing management team assumed operational control of the property and brought the care the property needs.
MHSE staff held a Meet and Greet for the residents to introduce the staff as the new owners and preview their goals and hopes for the building. The residents could not have been more welcoming. About half the building’s residents eagerly crowded into the room to share how important their homes are to them. Many in the room proudly stated they were among the very first residents to move in 11 years ago in 2003, and plan to stay as long as they can!
Mercy Housing made a lot of friends that day. The abiding value of respect, justice and mercy was evident to all.
There are many reasons for Mercy Housing to consider acquiring existing properties. Assuring the long-term health of a valuable asset like the Renaissance is certainly one of them.