GALVESTON — Housing commissioners Monday were told financial documents needed to finalize plans for the construction of two mixed-income housing developments should be signed by Aug. 15. After those documents are signed, the construction of Cedar Terrace and Magnolia Homes housing developments would soon begin.
“Everything is on track. We’re very close to perfecting all the documents,” Meg Manley, a vice president with McCormack Baron Salazar, told the Galveston Housing Authority. “We are delighted and excited to be going forward.”
McCormack Baron Salazar is building the two mixed-income housing developments, which will replace housing on the locations of two demolished public housing sites owned by the housing authority. The developments will include both public-housing units and market-rate apartments.
Manley said agreements on financing were originally expected to be signed in late 2012. However, disagreements between state and local groups over the projects and a later lawsuit filed over the constitutionality of the plans for the projects have delayed the financial arrangements.
The development’s plans still are being reviewed for approvals by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the city’s building department.
The lawsuit brought by the Galveston Open Government Project has not officially been terminated, but federal district court Judge Gregg Costa has indicated he will not rule against the plans. The lawsuit did cause the Texas General Land Office and the housing authority to develop a new financing plan for the projects, using federal disaster recovery grant money instead of interest-free bonds.
“It’s been a long road,” said Housing Authority chairman Irwin “Buddy” Herz. “There have been a number of problems and concerns from this community and hopefully many of the concerns have been taken care of.”