McCormack Baron Salazar and Galveston Housing Authority Celebrate Groundbreaking of The Oleanders at Broadway

October 6, 2021 | McCormack Baron Salazar

McCormack Baron Salazar, the Galveston Housing Authority and local officials gathered today at The Oleanders at Broadway to celebrate the groundbreaking of the third and final phase of the mixed-income development of replacement housing originally destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008.  The group donned hard hats and took up shovels as part of the celebration.

Scheduled for completion in August 2023, The Oleanders at Broadway, located on Galveston Island along the gulf shores of Texas, is the largest housing development underway on the island, and expands the innovative design approach of The Cedars at Carver Park and The Villas on the Strand in Galveston, the earlier post-Ike mixed income communities developed by McCormack Baron Salazar. 

“As we mark the 13th anniversary of Hurricane Ike, which destroyed much of Galveston’s public housing, it is fitting that we are celebrating the milestone of beginning the work on GHA’s third and final mixed-income community that will replace and provide critically needed housing for low-income families in Galveston,” said Mary Patrick, President of the Galveston Chapter of the NAACP.

The infill development site, located on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico two miles off the Texas coast, presents many design challenges.  The ground is only six feet above sea level, and the surrounding city storm water drainage system does not have the capacity to adequately handle run-off from the 11- acre development site. On-site water catchment and management will correct the inadequate public infrastructure and prevent future storm water issues.  The 348-unit apartment and townhome community are designed to withstand the recurring onslaught of coastal storm surges, torrential downpours and hurricanes.

The Oleanders at Broadway will reflect the historic architectural character and flavor of Galveston, but perhaps more significantly, it will be constructed using leading-edge design principles that incorporate green infrastructure strategies to resist and respond to increasingly stronger weather events. Apartments at The Oleanders at Broadway will be elevated above the existing grade by approximately one story. Open space on the site will be used to direct water to be sculpted bioswales and storm water planters, while subsurface large gravel voids below the paving surface allow for water detention in the sandy soils. 

Adding capacity for a multistage system that collects and then distributes all storm water for the Oleander site, the project serves as an example of sustainable Low Impact Development design.   The project will support 500,200 cubic feet of water retention, which is nearly the same capacity as six Olympic-size pools for a measurable historic storm event.                             

“It’s been thirteen years since Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston,” said Richard Baron, chairman of McCormack Baron Salazar. “The destruction wrought by Ike was particularly devastating for public housing families. That’s why it is important to begin a third development with a new type of green design and construction that will be more resilient to hurricanes and other weather events, and more equitable for the residents who live in Galveston. The entire design team has embraced the Oleanders design, and we appreciate the fact that the City of Galveston engineering staff has endorsed it as the “Green” standard for the island’s future development.”

“With their nod to the beautiful seaside community of Galveston, these attractive apartment homes will be a great addition to the mix of affordable housing in Galveston,” said Bill Ansell, board chair of Galveston Housing Authority. Located at 5228 Broadway, “The Oleanders at Broadway will include modern amenities, as well as plenty of green space, walkability, and access to transportation.”

A core component of the McCormack Baron Salazar development approach is layering public and private funds to transform communities across the country.  The Oleanders at Broadway will have more than  $111 million in development costs.  Financing is provided by RBC Community Investments, LLC, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, Galveston Public Facility Corporation, Texas General Land Office, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Texas Bond Reservation Board and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.