CJ Peete Groundbreaking

7 January 2009

CJ Peete Groundbreaking

Federal and local officals gathered for today’s groundbreaking of the redevelopment of the former C.J. Peete Housing Projects into mixed income housing. Woodward Design+Build is the general contractor for this exciting project.

The Times-Picayune

Work starts on overhaul of C.J. Peete public housing complex in Central City

The Times-Picayune

8 January 2009

Federal housing officials Tuesday broke ground on a $172 million redevelopment of the C.J. Peete public housing complex in Central City, the second such project launched in a month.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will build 460 mixed-income apartments at the Peete site by the end of 2010: two-thirds of them public housing and “affordable” units and one-third market-rate rentals.

Originally called the Magnolia, the development — a 41.5-acre site roughly bounded by LaSalle Street and Louisiana, Washington and Claiborne avenues — opened in 1941 as the city’s first public-housing project and at one point contained 1,403 apartments.

Last month, HUD Secretary Steve Preston presided over a similar groundbreaking of the St. Bernard housing development in Gentilly. The complexes are two of the city’s “Big Four” public housing developments, all demolished last year to make way for smaller, mixed-income communities. Of the remaining two complexes, Lafitte is expected to break ground in 30 days. B.W. Cooper, which lost a key investor, has no groundbreaking in sight.

The development will keep its name — it’s merely referred to as “the new C.J. Peete Community” — while St. Bernard’s redevelopment was renamed Columbia Citi Residences at Bayou District after its developer, Columbia Residential of Atlanta.

At Peete, said Mayor Ray Nagin, “residents are part of the development team.”

Resident Patricha Franklin agreed. “We express ourselves. We speak out,” said Franklin, one of a tight group of resident leaders.

One leader, Jacqueline Johnson, commuted from Austin, Texas, for resident meetings until she returned home last month.

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