Harbison Gardens wins an HAA Award
Each year four South Carolina Housing Achievement Awards are presented, one in each of the following categories: Housing Development, Volunteer of the Year, Creative Partnership, and Organization Sector. This year, Harbison Gardens, a renovation project developed by Wishcamper Companies and Rocky Mountain Development Group, has been announced as the winner in the Housing Development Category!
In this renovation project, 21 buildings containing 180 two- to four-bedroom units were renovated to ensure that the development could meet the needs of the tenants now and in the long term. Seventeen buildings were originally built in 1995 and four in 1998, but over the years they had experienced water damage and quality issues and had fallen into disrepair and were mismanaged. On top of the visible issues, there was extensive water damage, mold and rotten wood, and floors that fell apart after the gypcrete is removed. The renovations included site work, storm drainage, landscaping, concrete sidewalks and footing, wood framing and repair, handrails, waterproofing, installing French drains at the front of buildings, batt insulation, siding replacement, caulking, new doors, windows, hardware and drywall, painting, flooring and MEP systems.
In an effort to rehabilitate the development, The Wishcamper Companies, in a joint venture with the Rocky Mountain Development Group, purchased the property and hired The Architectural Team (Chelsea, Mass.) and C.F. Evans to perform the renovation. The Wishcamper Companies is a national real estate investment firm headquartered in Portland, Maine. With projects across the country, they specialize in affordable housing and work to restore dignity to the lives of low and moderate income tenants. By preserving and improving this type of housing, Wishcamper is working to strengthen the communities they are in. As a firm, they fund a large portion of their affordable housing work (including Harbison Gardens) through tax credits. “The tax credit program,” says vice president Jason Raichle, “is an important program for delivering quality affordable housing throughout the community.”
This was a highly desirable project because it had the bones of a very nice community in an outstanding location. There was a lot of activity surrounding the development, and by physically repositioning the property and improving the operations and community feel, Harbison Gardens is now poised for successful leasing and longevity.