Demolition has begun at the northern end of the Booker T. Washington Apartments, which will make way for a new mixed-income complex.
The $642,000 demolition project is supposed to take between 70-90 days, according to the Housing Authority of Columbus. It will take down the 20-plus buildings between Sixth and Fifth streets and Sixth Avenue and Veterans Parkway.
On that land, a 106-unit mixed income complex called Columbus Commons will be built along the lines of Arbor Pointe, which replaced the old Baker Village, and Ashley Station, which replaced Peabody Apartments.
The old two-story brick buildings will be replaced with a mix of Victorian and Savannah/Italianate architecture. All the buildings will be two-story, but some will offer upstairs and downstairs apartments while others will have two-story townhouses.
Housing Authority Executive Director Len Williams said they will start this month to pre-qualify contractors for the building project and then send out invitations to bid in August. He said they plan to start leasing units there late in 2016.
When that is completed, the southern end of Booker T. Washington will then be demolished and the land, which fronts Veterans Parkway and Victory Drive, will be made available for commercial development.
The work at BTW is part of a larger multi-phase project that includes building an over-50 apartment complex on the site of the old Chapman Homes on Fort Benning Road. That complex, to be called Patriot Point, is close to being completed.
While BTW Apartments had 392 units, Patriot Pointe will have 100 and Columbus Commons will have 106, the Housing Authority has reported. Residents displaced by the reduced number of units available will be offered units in one of the authority’s other complexes or in its Section 8 housing program.