ROSWELL, Ga. – Roswell’s Groveway community is getting a big bump from the city to get its revitalization and renovation under way that includes $650,000 of city money invested in the Groveway community.

The Roswell City Council approved funding May 30 for a major project in the area between Hill Street and Oxbo Road to help the Roswell Housing Authority (RHA) add a multi-million dollar project that will include 100 rent-controlled apartments for seniors.

Called “The Veranda at Groveway,” the project is expected to cost roughly $13 million and would help revitalize an area the city has spent considerable effort to redevelop. A new form-based development code was recently created for just that purpose.

Spearheaded by the RHA, most of the apartments would be rent-controlled for low-income residents; however 20 percent are expected to be sold at market rates.

The city was asked to help in three ways, all of which assist the RHA in getting up to $7 million in grants from HUD and nearly $2 million in private funding.

The first way was to assist with a 2012 HOME Investment Partnership grant worth $106,655, with the city’s match totaling $22,664.

Another part was with a federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), through the Atlanta Regional Commission worth $417,613, with major partners in the area receiving funding.

The third was to grant $500,000 toward the project.

“There has to be investment on the private side,” said Scott Marcelais, executive director of RHA. “This is the first phase of moving Groveway forward, and one of the key elements is local government involvement.”

The housing authority gets points awarded to it by the federal government in determining how much money it can be given. With Roswell helping with its three points, the project is much more likely to succeed.

Essentially, it all comes down to the city spending half a million dollars to get $13 million in development.

Councilman Kent Igleheart said he was uncomfortable with the city creating a precedent of giving money for development.

“We have never put cash into a development project,” he said. “Do we really want to go down that path?”

The issue was avoided when council was told that, instead of directly funding half a million dollars, the city could invest $650,000 in streetscape and sewer projects in the area and still get points for RHA.

“We’re not giving them the money, we will be spending the money anyway,” said Mayor Jere Wood. “It’ll benefit them, but it’s not going to them.”

“All the time and money put into Groveway [community], this would kick-start it,” said Councilman Jerry Orlans.

This is all contingent on RHA receiving tax credits for building the project. If the credits are not approved, Roswell would not make the $650,000 in improvements.

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