On Monday night the committee discussed the proposed $11 million Jackson Spring housing complex, which would include 45 apartments, 14 of which would be two-bedroom and the rest would be single bedroom. If built, the proposed development would be located on Spring St., between 8th and Crossman Streets. Currently, the site where the complex is being proposed has two vacant and condemned properties which city officials say are an eyesore for the neighborhood and a liability for the city.
The project is being developed by The NRP Group, with assistance from CODE Inc., which would manage the complex once completed.
Housing committee chair and city councilwoman Marie Carrubba (D-Ward IV) said that the project is something that is desperately needed on the North Side.
“If this project goes forward this is the first time in probably in over 25 years we’ll see [this kind of financial investment] take place in that part of the city,” Carrubba told her fellow council members while updating them on the project during the council’s full work session.
Carrubba also said that a recent community informational meeting on the project took place on Thursday night at Euclid Gardens, which is operated by CODE. She said the residents who attended that meeting seeming to be more at ease with the project once they learned more details.
“Several council members – Tony Dolce, Kim Ecklund, Greg Rabb, Vicki James and myself – were there. We felt that the neighborhood and residents who live in that area seemed to be more responsive to the project, more in favor of it.”
According to Carrubba, developers said the apartments will be for middle income individuals and rent would be between $700 and $800. The development would also be on the tax rolls, infusing new property tax revenue for the city.
LACK OF COMMUNICATION FRUSTRATES PUBLIC, NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS
During the January city council voting session, more than a dozen residents attended to voice their concern with the proposed development, especially since no details on the project had been released. They also voiced concern that the development could be similar to the Appleyard Terrace housing development on Second St., which is intended to help low income families. During that meeting, it was learned that a small meeting had in fact taken place, although the developers did not inform everyone in the neighborhood, nor city officials or the general public.
The meeting on Thursday night was also not publicly posted, and some community members apparently were not even notified until the day the meeting was to take place. City councilman George Spitale (D-At Large) said Monday night that he was also not informed of the meeting until Thursday. The lack of communication by CODE and NRP has been noted, with the Jamestown Post-Journal even printing an editorial on Sunday, criticizing the developers for a lack of communication.
The developers of the complex are still working on securing funding and the project is still in the early phases. If the proper funding can be secured, Carrubba said additional informational meetings will take place so the public can learn more about the project.
Carrubba said representatives from CODE and NRP will also be at the next Housing Committee meeting, scheduled for 6:45 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22 on the fourth floor of city hall. It will be open to the public.