A Letter to Our Stakeholders
It is with great optimism that we reflect on the accomplishments of 2012 and look toward 2013 in this edition of our annual report. The past three years have been a challenging yet rewarding journey for HDDC as we have made strides to recover from the impact of several years of unprecedented decline in the real estate market. We are proud to report that 2012 marked a banner year for our comeback and we have turned the corner as a re-energized, productive, nonprofit organization. We have stabilized our rental portfolio, restored our government accreditation, reengaged the local community, and made tangible progress toward the preservation and revitalization of Sweet Auburn. Our mission continues to drive the three main service lines of our work in the community:
- Historic Preservation: Creation of Sweet Auburn Works, a Main Street program whose objective is to preserve and restore Sweet Auburn as an economically thriving district.
- Revitalization: Implement real estate development projects that reactivate vacant sites to attract new residents, create amenities for existing residents, and provide economic opportunities for the entire community.
- Non-Displacement: Maintain and develop a portfolio of quality affordable housing to ensure the community remains inclusive to a diverse group of socioeconomic backgrounds.
We appreciate that there is still work to do, but as illustrated in this annual report, we are confident that we are on the right track to restore operations to pre-recession levels and build on our track record in the community. We also acknowledge that our resurgence reflects the tremendous efforts of our staff, partners, volunteers, and the continued support of our community stakeholders. I extend my personal thanks and that of the Board of Directors for your ongoing commitment to the success of HDDC and the community.
"For the past year, I have had the pleasure of working with the HDDC in an effort to preserve the history of Sweet Auburn. They are a great asset to the community and I look forward to working with them for the good of the neighbors/neighborhood in the future."
4th & SAND Neighborhood Association
|Improving Operating Performance |
Through the stabilization of our affordable housing portfolio, the selective sale of assets, and fundraising, we were able to turn the corner with our financial operating performance in 2012. In 2013, several new development projects, coupled with the selective sale of assets and ongoing fundraising activities are projected to continue this upward momentum.
|Stabilized Rental Portfolio|
HDDC restructured the asset management of its 65-unit affordable housing portfolio by renovating properties, engaging new property management firms, and actively marketing units. This increased our occupancy to an average of 95% for the year of 2012, allowing us to provide higher quality housing that is responsive to tenants needs.
"I have been renting a home owned by the Historic District Development Corporation, managed by Diamond Property Management for a year now, and it has been great. The rent is affordable and the management team is very helpful when it comes to any concerns I've had. I have been very pleased with their management."
HDDC Affordable Housing Resident
Creation of Main Street Program: Sweet Auburn Works
Top: Steering Committee meeting of Sweet Auburn stakeholders
Bottom:Sweet Auburn Works Co-Chairs, from left to right: Kwanza Hall, Atlanta City Councilman | Mtamanika Youngblood, HDDC Board Chair | Joan Garner, Fulton County Commissioner
Mission Statement: Sweet Auburn Works will implement preservation-based economic development to increase commerce, tourism and reestablish historical and cultural prominence while insuring quality of life for all people.
In 2012, under the guidance of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street Center, HDDC gathered a consortium of stakeholders and qualified individuals to serve as the Steering Committee to sculpt the vision and form the organization of Sweet Auburn Works. This steering committee has representation from elected government officials to small business owners. The committee is committed to ensuring Sweet Auburn Works' success in revitalizing the district while keeping its character and identity. Organizational documents have been filed, 501(c)3 status has been applied for, and fundraising is currently underway.
"The Historic District Development Corporation's dedicated and committed leadership is a tremendous asset to the Sweet Auburn community and will contribute significantly to the historically-sensitive economic revitalization of the neighborhood.
Vice President, Planning & Development
Central Atlanta Progress
Preserving our History:
The Atlanta Daily World Building
An application for demolition of the historic Atlanta Daily World building was filed in 2012. HDDC organized the community and a group of technical advisers to oppose this demolition as an unacceptable loss to the Sweet Auburn historic fabric. As a result of the strong case made for saving the building, the Atlanta Urban Design Commission voted unanimously 9-0 to deny a developer's application to demolish the Atlanta Daily World Building. Click here to watch the Channel 2 news coverage of the application decision.
This was a short-term victory for preserving Sweet Auburn. However, HDDC simultaneously made a commitment to work with the community to spearhead a constructive initiative that will ensure the remaining historic resources are leveraged to redevelop the historic district as a thriving business community. We are carrying through on our promise with the creation of Sweet Auburn Works.
"Kudos for HDDC's most recent initiative as the driving force for the revitalization of the Sweet Auburn commercial district - to restore Auburn Avenue to 'Sweet Auburn Avenue'."
Sweet Auburn Bread Company
Goals for 2013
HDDC aims to build on the momentum created in 2012 for an even stronger 2013 and restore our operations to pre-recession levels. Our goals for this year include the following objectives and initiatives:
- Sweet Auburn Works: We will continue to provide technical assistance and help build this Main Street program in 2013 as it forms a Board of Directors, hires staff, conducts fundraising, and implements preservation-based revitalization initiatives on Sweet Auburn.
- Real Estate Development: In addition to the developments listed in this annual report, HDDC is actively planning for several more projects to begin various phases of implementation this year. Our goal is to steadily develop our portfolio through well-planned projects that preserve, revitalize, and prevent displacement in the Historic District.
- Property Taxes: HDDC's improved operating performance has allowed us to begin paying down past due taxes in 2012 and our goal is to get current on all property taxes owed by year-end 2013. We will do so through earned income on real estate developments, property management, and the selective sale of assets.
- Marie Cowser Park: HDDC is working with the family of Marie Cowser, the late Director of Community Programs for HDDC, to create a formal park and monument at the corner of Randolph and Auburn Ave. Please stay tuned for more announcements
|About HDDC |
The Historic District Development Corporation (HDDC) is a nonprofit community development corporation founded in 1980 by Coretta Scott King and Christine King Farris with a mission to preserve, revitalize and prevent displacement of residents in the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic District.
Since our founding, we have redeveloped and historically preserved over 110 single family homes, constructed nearly 500 units of multifamily housing and added over 40,000 square feet of commercial space in the Old Fourth Ward.
For more information, please visit our website at:
Board of Directors
Dye Snyder, LLP, Vice Chair
Cassidy Turley, Treasurer
Ute Design, Secretary
Studio H Urban
Resident, United Way Atlanta
Resident, Executive Director
Assistant Project Manager
In 2012, HDDC restored its certification as a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) through the City of Atlanta Office of Housing and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The CHDO designation is a nationally recognized accreditation program established by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for nonprofit community development corporations that meet a standard criteria of organizational requirements.
|Restoration of Henderson Place |
HDDC collaborated with corporate sponsor UnitedHealthcare and local nonprofits T.R.I.P., the Atlanta ToolBank and the Truly Living Well Urban Farm to renovate the Henderson Place apartments. Specific improvements for the day included painting three buildings, installing landscaping and a community garden. Funds from UnitedHealthcare also went toward repaving and restriping the parking lot. To view more pictures from the day, please click here. Thank you to all of our partners for making this transformation possible!
|Upcoming Developments in 2013|
HDDC is currently working with the City of Atlanta Office of Housing for the development planning of 610 Irwin Street. The image above is a rendering of the renovation of this 6-unit apartment building as workforce housing.
HDDC is currently in talks with private lenders for the construction financing of 100 Bradley. The image above is a rendering of this completely renovated 4 bedroom home for sale to a working family.
HDDC is currently in talks with private lenders for the construction financing of 33 Howell. The image above is a rendering of this new construction, 3 bedroom home for sale to a working family.
|Thank You to Our Partners|
|Stay Connected with HDDC and the Community|