Promoter, agency working on affordable housing



But the two-story school itself was closed in 2013 and over the following years it languished. Fires have been started, windows have been smashed, and vandals have left their ugly labels. The renovation of the school into affordable housing for the elderly is nearing completion and pre-rental has started.

The school has 17 one-bedroom units and 35 two-bedroom units. The elimination of artificially suspended ceilings created the possibility of 12-foot-high spaces and large picture windows.

“For the most part, we were able to use the existing classroom spaces and reconfigure within those walls these one- and two-bedroom units with full kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms,” Alter said.

Dunbar’s facilities, meanwhile, include a fitness center, laundry room, garden, business center, and community room with tables, seating, kitchen, and space to organize meals and parties. holidays. Dunbar is one of half a dozen schools built in the early 1900s that the Commonwealth has turned into housing.

“Historical adaptive reuse is something we’re used to doing,” Alter said. “These schools are unique and special in the craftsmanship and details they offer. You have to mentally understand how to renovate a historic building and have access to funding that people usually don’t use to afford to do it.

For projects like Dunbar, that means using historic federal and state tax credits. The zoning application filed by Commonwealth, meanwhile, indicates that the developers chose the Thrive site because it could benefit from the tax breaks provided in the Federal Opportunity Zone.

Alter said the designs are not complete for Thrive. But the conceptual design of the site coordinated with the planners reached an agreement to retain and incorporate the facades of the historic storefronts at 1007 NW 10.

Ian Colgan, deputy executive director of the Oklahoma City Housing Authority, said the Commonwealth developments are part of an effort to renovate and rebuild 1,000 of the agency’s roughly 3,000 housing units.

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