After a comprehensive recapitalization and renovation, the Imperial Hotel – now re-named The Commons at Imperial Hotel – hosted a Grand Opening and lighting ceremony on March 6th, 2014.
Speakers for the ceremony included: Georgia Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of Housing James Shelby, Atlanta Housing Authority President and CEO Joy Fitzgerald, Atlanta City Councilman Kwanzaa Hall, Columbia Residential Chairman and Founding Partner Noel Khalil, National Church Residences President and CEO Thomas Slemmer and Kelly Caffarelli, president of the Home Depot Foundation. A returning resident also spoke, giving the audience insight on the Imperial before and after the renovation.
The Commons at Imperial, located at 355 Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, serves Atlanta residents in need of permanent supportive housing. Originally built in 1911, this iconic Atlanta building has provided affordable housing, particularly to residents with special needs or those coming out of homelessness, since 1996. Atlanta-based Columbia Residential, a nationally recognized developer of multifamily affordable housing communities, and the National Church Residences, the nation’s largest provider of affordable senior housing, are the developers and owners of the building. The Imperial provides 90 units of sustainable (LEED Gold) state-of-the-art housing in an irreplaceable downtown location proximate to transit, jobs and services.
“National Church Residences is happy to bring our successful permanent supportive housing program to Atlanta, where we have a strong presence,” said National Church Residences President and CEO Thomas W. Slemmer. “Permanent supportive housing transforms lives, resulting in a positive impact on the community and on the individuals who live at Commons at Imperial Hotel.”
New residents and guests of the Grand Opening will see the fully modernized floor plan configurations, fully updated leasing and management offices, resident amenities and a suite for case managers and service providers. The building offers 24-hour concierge/controlled entry and other security features. Each residence is equipped with a full, energy-efficient kitchen and bathroom, and residents have control of the HVAC system of their living space. Sustainable improvements to the historic structure will not only ensure energy efficiency, but also provide for very affordable utility bills, which are included in the residents’ rent computation.
The Commons at Imperial Hotel provides permanent supportive housing, or housing with on-site services needed to help the residents stabilize and rebuild their lives through a proven “housing first” model. The renovated building is uniquely designed with the special needs of these residents in mind. Social, educational, therapeutic, vocational and health care services are on-site, including assessment and referral, crisis intervention and integrated behavioral and health care. On-site facilities for residents include a fitness center, health resource room, job training office, laundry room, and library/community room and a resource center – which is equipped with computers and a printer, and community engagement opportunities – such as a woman’s group and support groups.
“We are honored to partner with our City and State to preserve and redevelop the vital housing resources that is now The Commons at Imperial,” said Noel Khalil, chairman of Columbia Residential. “We have made every effort to respect the residents this building will serve and the history of the building in order reflect the value of our partners investment and to ensure that the residents have a place they are proud to call their home.”
The Commons at Imperial Hotel development could not have occurred without the strong support and investment from the State of Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Housing Authority. Leveraging those public partners, combined with an industry-leading group of funders, including private investors Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Sugar Creek Investments and philanthropic investors led by The Home Depot Foundation and Weinberg, allowed for the extensive renovation, provision of supportive services and sustainable future.
Founded in 1991 by Noel Khalil, Columbia Residential is a leading Atlanta-based developer and manager of affordable and mixed-income housing. The firm operates more than 7,000 affordable and mixed-income housing units in Georgia, in addition to communities in Texas, South Carolina and Louisiana. Including the Imperial, Columbia is known for award winning design, construction and developments. Columbia has developed and operates more than 325 units of permanent supportive housing in Atlanta and New Orleans, including housing for formerly homeless and other families with special needs.
The firm led the development and construction aspects of the comprehensive, sustainable redevelopment of the Imperial Hotel, utilizing its experience with complex public-private financing, refurbishment of high-rise buildings, and sustainable, energy-efficient construction.
National Church Residences
National Church Residences is committed to excellence that transforms the lives of the people it serves. The not-for-profit organization is an innovative leader in integrating housing, health care and supportive services, serving seniors of all income levels and families. With 330 communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico, National Church Residences is the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of affordable senior housing and operates five continuing care retirement communities. It also provides supportive housing for the formerly homeless and disabled, operating communities in Ohio and Georgia. The National Church Residences model of person-centered care includes adult day health, assisted living, senior housing, skilled nursing homes, rehabilitation center, outpatient therapy, home health care and hospice. For more information, visit www.nationalchurchresidences.org.
National Church Residences will manage the property as well as resident services and programming.