SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — After six years of construction, the final phase of construction on the East Meadows affordable housing project is completed on the city’s eastside.
The city of San Antonio and the San Antonio Housing Authority worked with national affordable housing developer McCormack Baron Salazar to build the intergenerational and mixed-income housing development on the site of the former Wheatley Courts public housing site. Construction on the first phase began in 2015.
“East Meadows is a wonderful example of the positive things that can be achieved when groups come together to change a community for the better,” said Vincent R. Bennett, president and CEO of McCormack Baron Salazar. “From increased green space to improved pedestrian options to brand new, bright and cheerful homes, East Meadows will improve the quality of life for a neighborhood that used to struggle.”
East Meadows consists of 334 one-to-four bedroom apartments and townhomes for families and 80 one-and-two bedroom homes designed for senior citizens. The neighborhood also features Phillis Wheatley Park, a two-acre park that has activities for people of all ages.
46% of the family homes are reserved for very-low-income families, 26% are reserved for workforce/low-income families and 28% of the family homes have market-rate rents.
All 80 senior units are reserved for senior individuals who are classified as low- and very low-income.
Developers partnered with the Bexar County Digital Libraries to open an all-digital library near the neighborhood. BiblioTech, located off of Walters Avenue, features 25 desktop computers, multiple conference rooms with digital resources, a game room, a community room and a kitchen. The digital library offers free downloads for e-books and audiobooks and provides access to the internet and other digital media to residents.
McCormack Baron Salazar said the neighborhood on the city’s eastside is benefiting from four major grants and designations aimed at improving the area through investments in housing, economic development, safety, education and a targeted investment in people. These initiatives include increasing green space, establishing community gardens and a fresh food co-op, building infill housing, and rehabbing acquired single-family properties and the Menger Creek Linear Park.
In addition, developers are working to establish a new community center, help local businesses update building exteriors/facades in addition to encouraging new local businesses to open or relocate to the area.
The $79 million investment in the project came from a mix of public and private funding that came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the City of San Antonio, the San Antonio Housing Facility Corporation, RBC Capital Markets, and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.