NORTH HOUSTON – A meeting was held last Monday at the Greater Jerusalem Church on Jensen Drive, for the purpose of discussing plans to build a new housing structure as part of a plan to revitalize the decrepit business district of Jensen Drive.
The meeting was billed as a Community Development Partnership Meeting, and included government officials, local pastors, local business and community persons, and real estate developers.
As explained by Chris Akbari of ITEX Group, a development company, in conjunction with the J. Allen Management company, a new Leo Daniels residential building would be built, and the current tower would be renovated.
Akbari told the group that there are two possible sites, one on the east side of Jensen across from the church, and the other on Harrell Street to the north of the current building. If the second site is chosen, it would also have the possibility of using the rest of the land for a new grocery store and extensive parking. Akbari explained that negotiations for this Option 2 are underway, but not finalized.
Pastor Russell noted that whichever scheme is chosen, it will require the discussion and approval of the Leo Daniels board.
The new building would be six stories tall, and house 136 apartments. 66 of these would be efficiencies, 58 one bedroom, and 12 two bedroom.
Akbari said that financing had already been secured, including 4% Housing tax credits, City of Houston HOME funds in the amount of $5 Million dollars, CDBG federal funds through the state including disaster relief after the floods, and a $6.6 Million mortgage. Total project cost is about $26 Million dollars, he said.
After the new Tower 2 is built, residents from the existing tower would be moved to the new building, allowing renovation of that building.