Today, the Galveston community commemorated the opening of two new communities, called The Cedars at Carver Park and The Villas on the Strand, with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. The Texas General Land Office, developer McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc., the City of Galveston, and the Galveston Housing Authority celebrated the milestone, which not only brings new, dynamic residential options to the island but also provides a portion of the replacement housing for residents of the former Magnolia Homes and Cedar Terrace public housing sites flooded by Hurricane Ike in 2008.
The Villas on The Strand is located at 1524 Avenue B (Strand) Street, in the East End neighborhood between the Strand and The University of Texas Medical Branch. The community features 160 modern, attractive and sustainable apartments and townhomes containing 82 affordable and 78 market rate units. The Cedars at Carver Park is located at 2914 Ball Street, spanning multiple blocks just west of Downtown Galveston. The Cedars consists of 122 apartments and townhomes with 63 affordable and 59 market rate units. Both communities include standard amenities like fitness centers, playgrounds, picnic areas and park space, controlled parking and building access, in-unit washers and dryers, dishwashers, and on-site management and maintenance. Both will also be certified sustainable communities under the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and Energy Star for Homes.
A portion of the units are reserved for public housing families returning to Galveston. After water from Hurricane Ike flooded the north side of the island, residents of Cedar Terrace and Magnolia Homes were given temporary housing vouchers and many could not find housing on Galveston. As a result, these families were scattered throughout the region and beyond. 49 families have already returned to call these new communities home once more and more are in the leasing process.
“We are here to not only mark the opening of these two communities, but more importantly, to mark a new beginning for residents displaced by Hurricane Ike,” said Commissioner George P. Bush. “The General Land Office is proud to help rebuild communities after disasters and to welcome Texans back to their homes.”
Funding for these developments was a collaboration including: Federal Disaster Relief Funds issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Texas General Land Office; funds from the City of Galveston; and funds from the Galveston Housing Authority and the Galveston Public Facility Corporation.
Galveston Housing Authority Board Chairman Irwin “Buddy” Herz noted, “In 2008, immediately after Hurricane Ike, you would have been hard pressed to imagine we would stand here today and cut a ribbon in front of this beautiful community. These developments are wonderful examples of the power of collective efforts.”
The Ribbon-Cutting was held on Thursday, June 22nd at 11:00 a.m. at The Villas on The Strand.
“The Cedars at Carver Park and the Villas on the Strand enhance the Historic Downtown-Strand-Seaport District, and expand those districts to contribute positively to the reconstruction of Galveston. Our historic City of Galveston is not just here to stay, but we are here to grow and thrive,” commented Mayor Yarborough.
Richard Baron, Chairman of McCormack Baron Salazar, stated, “We are here today to welcome people home – including families and the children that were displaced and new residents who are excited to become a part of these neighborhoods in the heart of Galveston. We are so proud to have developed these two communities.”
“The Cedars and the Villas are designed to reknit the fabric of the community and to be sustainable and resilient,” added Vincent R. Bennett, President of McCormack Baron Salazar. “With McCormack Baron Management as the property manager, they will continue to look as good as they do today for decades to come.”