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Tindall Heights Project
Transforming Southside Community

Anthony Hayes, June Parker, and David Danzie

In 1940 Tindall Heights opened as a significant Macon public housing project, but over time lost its luster. Today, it is a pile of rumble on its way to raising the stakes in local affordable housing and the hopes of those that are involved in the four-phase development.

As the Macon Housing Authority continues demolition of the 28-acre site and starts construction of Phase I, an effort began in January designed to engage the community surrounding the redevelopment on the resources and services needed to improve the area. The process included going door-to-door, hosting public meetings and the distribution of surveys; that garnered over 300 respondents to the surveys and valuable community feedback during the public meetings reported MHA officials. The responses identified various ways the community could improve on matters of education, healthcare, employment and transportation.

On April 22, 2017, the Macon Housing Authority, along with the United Way of Central Georgia, hosted a second public meeting featuring free food, games, and music. This meeting included local agencies such as the Bibb County Board of Education, Mercer University, Macon-Bibb County Health Department, Goodwill Industries, the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, Navicent Health, Commissioners Bert Bivins and Virgil Watkins as well as others. Mayor Robert Reichert convened the agencies on behalf of Macon-Bibb County in January to participate in this process. "We really tried to bring these agencies together so they could hear the needs of the community," said Anthony Hayes, President and Chief Executive Officer of In-Fill Housing, the nonprofit arm of the Macon Housing Authority. "Our goal is to develop a plan to address the top 5 - 6 high priority items as expressed by those living in the community surrounding the redevelopment."

The scope of the project is major. Phase I, Tindall Seniors Towers, which will be 76 units, is underway. Construction begins this fall on Tindall Fields I, the 64 family apartments second phase of the project. The final two phases will feature 130 multifamily units. When the dust settles near the end of 2018, the first two phases of the four-phase development, funded by the Department of Community Affairs will debut.

Additionally, MHA owns approximately 9.5 acres of land that front Little Richard Penniman. Their goal from the onset has been to develop this commercial property for the benefit of its future residents at Tindall Seniors Towers and Tindall Fields I, II, and III according to MHA officials. MHA also plans to ensure that the commercial development benefits and supports the surrounding community. One benefit of this development will be more potential job opportunities that stand to expand the tax base for Macon-Bibb County said MHA representatives. Plans call for blending the commercial and affordable housing developments that could potentially include bike trails, walking paths, transportation hubs, and roadways, both in and out of the new properties, fully integrating it into the community.
The most challenging aspect of the project for MHA officials may be over. In order to make way for the demolition of the former public housing complex, 390 families had to be relocated. A five-person team was charged with that task and accomplished the mission of moving former residents. Each resident received a Tenant Protection Voucher (TPV), which allowed them to move into an affordable apartment or house of their choice. It also included a moving expense allotment for each resident. Macon Housing Authority CEO June Parker is pleased with the process. "This was more than just bricks and sticks. When you improve a person's life, you improve your neighbors' life as well," Parker said. "When other agencies look at that, hopefully they will want to do the same to make Macon-Bibb a better place."

Displacement of residents without assistance and gentrification are sometime the results when municipalities don't develop a comprehensive, holistic plan of action. But David Danzie, CEO of Fall Line Contractors, Inc., a for-profit construction affiliate of MHA, agrees with Parker that the site will be a place that people will want to live. The former Tindall Heights residents have the opportunity to return to the newly renovated properties first, if they qualify. The rent will remain low to moderate ensuring affordability. Fall Line Contractors and Piedmont Construction, joint venture partners on Tindall Sr. Towers, held a job fair earlier this year and 120 participants qualified to work on the project. "I feel like this will be an aspiring project, because it will make everyone feel better about the community," said Danzie. "We will continue with our mission," Parker promised. "Our mission is to provide housing, community development and opportunities to the residents we serve."

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P.O. Box 446, Macon, • GA 31202 * Ofc:  478-745-7265