Congressman Jim Cooper, Mayor David Briley, Councilman Brett Withers, representatives from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Cayce Place residents and stakeholders joined MDHA for a groundbreaking ceremony for Envision Cayce. This is the fourth residential construction and third mixed-income development for Envision Cayce.
“Envision Cayce as a whole is about progress and moving our city forward by creating a mixed-income, mixed-use community,” said MDHA Executive Director Jim Harbison. “To our Cayce Place families: Our work here, all of our work, is focused on you, and yielding to you and your children the opportunities for a great life in our already great country.”
This latest phase of Envision Cayce is located along South Sixth St. and Lenore St. and includes 101 apartments featuring 13 townhomes and two four-story apartment buildings. Forty-five units will be subsidized, and the remaining units will be a mix of workforce and market-rate. All of the subsidized apartments will house current Cayce Place residents, many of whom have been instrumental in the Envision Cayce process.
“This is amazing, and the impact on lives is even more amazing,” said Congressman Jim Cooper. “The scale of Envision Cayce is almost monumental, and it’s going to take all of us working together to make it happen. So let’s make it work, and thank you MDHA for giving us such a great beginning.”
All 101 units will have identical market-rate amenities and enhanced security features. Other features include covered parking, computer kiosks, active green space, courtyards and a playground for the kids.
“The Envision Cayce project is really about community and connection,” said Mayor David Briley. “When people become neighbors with those they may not know otherwise, lives are changed and great things can happen. I am proud to be here today to celebrate the groundbreaking for this fourth residential section of the project.”
Envision Cayce is possible due to MDHA’s conversion of public housing to Project-Based Rental Assistance under the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.
“RAD brings hope, and the ability to recapitalize these distressed assets,” said HUD Southeast Regional Director of Asset Management Mark Dominick. “It’s interesting from our perspective what MDHA has done because a lot of the RAD conversions in other cities have been minor repairs, but MDHA is rebuilding homes and preserving affordable housing that will be here for generations to come. MDHA is one of our top RAD performers. You’ve hit the ground running and have done amazing things with this program.”
The project, which is being constructed by Hardaway Construction Corp., is being financially supported with Community Investment Tax Credits (CITC), HOME funding and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which are competitively awarded by THDA.
“THDA is proud to be involved in this next phase of Envision Cayce,” said THDA Executive Director Ralph Perrey. “It is the most impactful and arguably the highest visibility affordable housing development in Nashville right now, and quite possibly the largest RAD project in country. THDA is committed to Envision Cayce, and we have great confidence in our partners at MDHA.”
District 6 Councilman Brett Withers, who has been heavily involved in the Envision Cayce process, continues to be impressed with the resident and community involvement and each phase of construction.
“This rapid construction activity has provided visual evidence and hope to Cayce residents that all levels of government are working together to implement this innovative community building endeavor of which Cayce residents are both the designer and priority customer,” said Councilman Brett Withers. “I am fond of the interior courtyard and playground area that will bring all of the diverse residents of this project together in an active green space where they can forge a unique and distinct community.”
The new construction is part of MDHA’s plan to rebuild Cayce Place, Nashville’s largest subsidized housing property, which is currently home to nearly 800 families. The Envision Cayce Master Plan calls for more than 2,000 units and ensures a one-for-one replacement of the subsidized units while adding new affordable, workforce and market-rate units.
MDHA plans to break ground on the next phase of residential construction of Envision Cayce next year.