On Friday, the residents and area leaders celebrated a new beginning for the facility as the ribbon was cut on more than $6 million worth of renovations and improvements.
Lawler/Wood Housing LLC acquired the property from the church in order to provide the financial resources and operating expense necessary to update, improve and continue to manage the complex as was envisioned from its start.
The company is a developer and manager of more than 8,500 apartment units in 60 properties.
“These improvements not only include the quality of life for the 113 resident households of elderly and disabled citizens, but we hope it adds to the vitality and security,” said George Piper, president of CCR Strategies, the company which provides community and customer relations for multi-family housing.
Piper noted there were “dramatic improvements” to the exterior which included window and exterior window panel placement, a new entry portico and new driveway paving, restriping and signage.
“For individual units, it included countertop replacement, plumbing fixture replacement, built-in microwave ovens and range hood fans as well as ADA unit upgrades,” he added.
“We believe these renovations both add to the quality of housing the residents can enjoy, but also contributes to the attractiveness and quality of this neighborhood,” Piper said.
Pastor Mitchell Maloney of North Cleveland Church of God provided the invocation for the occasion.
“We thank you for all the work that has been done on this property,” Maloney prayed.
He also noted former board members who “had spent years taking care of this property.”
“There were things that needed to be done we couldn’t get done, then Lawler/Wood came into the picture.” he said.
Carr Hagan, senior vice president of Lawler/Wood, spoke about the church which began it all.
“We remain deeply humbled and honored that North Cleveland Church of God entrusted us to assist them in maintaining and preserving their legacy of providing quality and affordable housing for the elderly at this development,” Hagan said.
“The church and its board deserve high praise for the responsible and caring manner in which they operated North Cleveland Towers for 40 years. It’s a credit to them they recognized the need to identify a private sector partner with a similar dedication to bring in new resources and ensure that this property continues to fulfill its original mission.”
He also gave acknowledgement to the public entities including HUD and THDA for their assistance in bringing the renovation to fruition.
Kim Cox, director of HUD in Knoxville, called the local facility “a good property.”
“That’s because I never hear anything about it,” Cox said. “If I don’t hear anything about properties, that means they’re a good property. It’s the complainers I know about.”
Gary Farlow, president and chief executive officer of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, said he had been acquainted with Lawler/Wood for over 30 years and called them “a good partner.”
“Congratulations to Lawler/Wood for the good partner you have become to this community,” Farlow said. “We look forward to working with you for a very long time.”
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said the renovations provide a great setting.
“It’s projects like this that strengthen our community,” Rowland said. “I am so thankful that we have facilities like this that pep you up when you walk though the door. This is one of the threads we weave throughout the ‘City with Spirit’ to make it a stronger community. We’re just so proud of this.”