Fort Worth Business Press, June 2, 2014 Vol. 26, No. 22 - Page 22

22 news June 9 - 15, 2014 | fwbusinesspress.com Historic Fort Worth building refurbished ‘‘ This is just a small dent in the need . . . But what’s significant about this is the affordability downtown.” – Barbara Hulston, the Housing Authority CEO who recently retired. Barbara Hulston, who is retiring as director of the Fort Worth Housing Authority, on June 4 officially opened an 18-unit apartment development in the former Knights of Pythias hall in Hillside east of downtown. photos and story by: T Scott Nishimura n nishimura@bizpress.net he Fort Worth Housing Authority on June 4 officially opened an 18-unit apartment development in the hull of the historic Knights of Pythias community hall in downtown’s Hillside. The opening of the13,228-squarefoot development, which includes 10 affordable-rate and eight market-rate apartments, helps fill in a hole in the downtown map and its residential inventory, according to representatives of the Fort Worth Housing Authority and other housing officials. “This is just a small dent in the need,” said Barbara Hulston, the Housing Authority CEO who recently retired. “But what’s significant about this is the affordability downtown. There’s not a lot of affordability downtown.” Quadco Management Solutions began leasing the property Feb. 27, and it has one vacancy left: a two-bedroom, one-bath, 845-square-foot market rate unit for $1,900. Four of the market-rate units in the complex are 745 square feet and rent for $999. The Housing Authority pays for water; tenants pay other utilities. The apartments come with complete appliance packages, including washers and driers. The affordable rent apartments are targeted at people who make 80 percent of area median income. The Fort Worth developer Phillip Poole held the property and envisioned four condominiums with parking, but he wasn’t able to get it financed, so he sold the property to the Housing Authority. “The Housing Authority had the funds, could step in,” Poole said during Wednesday’s opening. “They’ve done an outstanding job.” The Housing Authority borrowed $950,000 from the city through Community Development Block Grant money, and $1.5 million from CommunityBank of Texas, and it doubled the original building footprint in the redevelopment. The 87-year-old building had been vacant and deteriorating for years. The Knights of Pythias Lofts overlooks downtown and has a combination of market and affordable rents.