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$43M Affordable Housing Complex Opens on Charleston’s East Side

Urban housing development exterior

$43M Affordable Housing Complex Opens on Charleston’s East Side

Replete with the joys of transformation and community spirit, the once historic Henry P. Archer School has been successfully restored and converted into an affordable housing complex on Charleston’s east side. After being built around 1934 as an African-American school during segregation, this 90-year-old edifice has now commenced a fresh chapter as an affordable housing solution for senior citizens within the community.

The project, rolled out with a budget of $43 million, entails the modification of the traditional school building and the addition of two new structures. Together, they form a modern housing complex offering a total of 89 attractive single and two-bedroom apartment units. The venture was brought into existence by the Humanities Foundation with the aim of promoting and nurturing the growth of affordable housing in the region, specifically for individuals aged 55 and above with income levels below 80% of the area median income (around $50,000).

More Than Just a Place to Live

“The transformation of the historic Henry P. Archer School goes beyond creating a living space. It symbolizes a tribute to the rich history and the resilient and creative spirit of the east-side community,” expressed Tracy Doran, President of the Humanities Foundation, at the ceremonial ribbon-cutting event. This community-oriented complex will also offer additional services like telehealth, private transportation, food distribution, and an array of social activities.

Emphasizing the impact of cooperative efforts in such endeavors, Herb Partlow, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners said, “This is a clear example of the positive outcomes when we work together. Numerous entities have come together to actualize this project.”

Honoring the Past

The revitalizing venture, while catering to modern housing needs, also pays homage to the structure’s original purpose. Many former students of the school will be starting the next phase of their journey within these same walls, now converted into appealing residential units. To commemorate the past, the Humanities Foundation has curated a “Portraits of Promise” showcase featuring 40 alumni portraits along the hallways of the Archer School.

Collaborative Efforts and Contributions

Brought to life over the course of three years, this project combines the efforts and expertise of various entities including the Humanities Foundation, James Doran Co., DesignWorks, Martin Riley Associates, and Bello Garris Architects. Trident Contruction played a vital role in creating state-of-the-art interiors while preserving the historic building exterior. The new interiors now boast 20-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, large windows, and hardwood floors.

Whilst addressing the need for affordable housing in Charleston’s Dist. 4 and emphasizing collective work, council member Robert Mitchell stated, “We as a community can accomplish a lot, but need to come together and work together.”

This new affordable housing complex is more than a success story of transformation, it serves as a beacon of hope and a testament to Charleston’s commitment to providing adequate and affordable housing for its aging population.

$43M Affordable Housing Complex Opens on Charleston's East Side

HERE Charleston
Author: HERE Charleston

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