Vitus has expanded its footprint in the state of Georgia with two new affordable community acquisitions and renovation projects: Westlake Apartments, a 100-unit community in Savannah, and Linwood Apartments, a 100-unit community in Gainesville.
Vitus has renewed both buildings’ Sec. 8 Housing Assistance Payment contracts, ensuring that each property will be able to provide affordable housing in its community for the next 20 years. This comes as many of Georgia’s housing markets have begun to heat up, with median home prices rising 7% from 2017 to 2018, according to Zillow data.
The developer’s $6.9 million investment in Westlake Apartments will allow it to repair the extensive damage the community suffered during Hurricane Matthew. Interior and exterior improvements will include full kitchen and bath remodels; updated plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems; new flooring; exterior and landscaping upgrades; laundry upgrades; sidewalk and parking lot repairs; and a new community building.
Vitus has also partnered with the Savannah Tree Foundation to plant 70 new trees across the Westlake property, both to enhance the environment and protect the property against flooding.
“We are proud to partner with the Housing Authority of Savannah on this project and look forward to helping the community continue to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016,” says Samantha Cullen, development manager for Vitus. “Our team specializes in protecting and extending the life of properties in competitive markets like Savannah, where there is a real need for affordable housing.”
The Linwood Apartments renovation and Sec. 8 renewal comes as the city’s housing market expands, raising the city’s market-rate prices. The $5.6 million renovation will cover interior and exterior improvements to the property, including new windows, appliances, cabinets, flooring and countertops, drywall replacement, masonry repairs, new HVAC, plumbing and water heaters, and ADA compliance upgrades.
Vitus will also add a community room, update the playground and outdoor amenities on-site, and arrange monthly classes for residents on nutrition, gardening, fitness, and other topics.
“Our team is proud to protect and extend the life of the Linwood Apartments,” says Michael Volz, development management director for Vitus. “This property plays an important role in Gainesville’s affordable housing market, and we look forward to renewing it and bringing in new features to improve the community for residents and neighbors alike.”
Both communities will gain new environmentally friendly features, including new low-E coated windows, Energy Star appliances, and high-efficiency windows and plumbing. The renovations are already underway and are expected to create only minimal disruption for residents.