100+ residents of aging Marion Street High Rise expected to be moved due to safety concerns

100+ residents of aging Marion Street High Rise expected to be moved due to safety concerns
Apartments in a new construction project will be made available to residents of Marion Street, Columbia Housing said. (Source: Columbia Housing Authority)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Columbia Housing says it is building new units and repositioning and upgrading current units in an effort to provide quality, safe and affordable housing.

That includes the aging Marion Street High Rise, which was built in 1975.

Columbia Housing hired an engineering firm to conduct an assessment and analysis of its buildings. Based on HUD’s total development cost schedule, replacement costs for Marion Street were estimated at $20,261,404 with estimated rehabilitation costs totaling $16,040,024.

Because the building’s rehab costs are 79.17% of its replacement cost, Columbia Housing CEO Ivory Matthews says that it’s best to move the building’s residents because it is now obsolete.

“The safety of the 100+ residents at Marion Street is of utmost concern. We have 56 units that are vacant and uninhabitable due to the leading water supply lines and sewer disposal lines,” Mathews said. “All lines at the property are run through a block chase that was coated with a sulfur product used as a fire retardant at the time of construction of the building more than 40 years ago. The building also has many other deferred maintenance items, so we’ve taken some time to analyze how best to reposition the property and keep the residents safe.”

May 2021 is the expected moving period for residents of the high rise.

Apartments in a new construction project will be made available to residents at the Carter Street property, Columbia Housing said.

The agency provided the following timeline of its actions on this issue:

KEY MILESTONES COMPLETED IN ANTICIPATION OF MOVE

  • July/August 2019: Development Team analysis of property
  • September 2019: Issued solicitation for the procurement of Phase 1 Environmental Consultants
  • September 24, 2019: Resident Executive Council Meeting (update on Marion Street Disposition)
  • October 10, 2019: Executive Committee Agenda – contract services for Phase I Environmental Consultants
  • October 17, 2019: Board approved a pool for Environmental Consultants per Resolution 2019-663
  • November 2019: Provided updated communications to HUD on the status of the vacant units and desired plans for securing an early relocation approval & Section 18 Disposition Approval
  • November 2019: Comprehensive Needs Assessment task order issued to Environmental Consultant
  • December 13, 2019: Marion Street Meeting with Residents
  • December/January 2020: Comprehensive Needs Assessment and unit inspections underway
  • January 28, 2020: Resident Executive Council Meeting (update on Marion Street Disposition)
  • February 5, 2020: Marion Street Meeting with Residents
  • February 13, 2020: Received results of Comprehensive Needs Assessment
  • February 25, 2020: Resident Executive Council Meeting (update on Marion Street Disposition)
  • August 17, 2020: Marion Street Meeting with Residents (Socially Distanced Door-to-Door)
  • August 24, 2020: Resident Executive Council Meeting (update on Marion Street Disposition)
  • January 14, 2021: Board Workshop – Marion Street Disposition
  • January 27, 2021: Marion Street Meeting with Residents (Socially Distanced Door-to-Door)

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