Senior Housing Development near Downtown Phoenix Wins National Award

[Source: City of Phoenix Press Release]

Source: Orcutt Winslow

The city of Phoenix Housing Department will receive a national award for the McCarty on Monroe senior housing development, adding to two state awards and one local award previously received this year.

The 2010 Award of Excellence for McCarty on Monroe comes from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and will be officially announced on Nov. 2 at NAHRO’s National Conference and Exhibition in Reno, Nev. The city’s Housing Department is one of 23 programs nationwide to receive the 2010 award, which recognizes outstanding innovation and achievement in housing and community development programs throughout the country.

“McCarty on Monroe combines serving seniors, honoring history, green design and building, linking to light rail and creating jobs,” said District 8 Councilman Michael Johnson.

“It is a great development for our central city.”

In August, the Arizona Chapter of NAHRO selected McCarty on Monroe as the Housing Innovation Program of the Year for 2010. In September, the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) recognized McCarty on Monroe with the 2010 Brian Mickelsen Housing Hero Award for Exemplary Multifamily Project. ADOH commended “a unique opportunity to preserve existing public housing assistance, add new public housing units to the city’s elderly housing inventory, provide additional low-income tax credit units and provide seniors with low incomes the access to affordable housing units with immediate light-rail train access.”

At the 30th annual Environmental Excellence Awards program in October, the Valley Forward Association honored McCarty on Monroe with an Award of Merit for Livable Communities. Designed to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Standard, the housing complex includes 100 percent fluorescent fixtures, flooring and carpet made from recycled rubber, interior finishes that are low- or no-VOC, 154 photovoltaic solar panels on the roof and water-saving, desert landscaping.

Source: Orcutt Winslow

Located at 1130 E. Monroe St. (map), McCarty on Monroe is a senior housing complex that opened in October 2009. Previously, the 1.5-acre site housed 24 senior public housing units, constructed in 1963 as McCarty Apartments. Leon McCarty, a Phoenix native and local real estate agent with a small family-owned firm, grew up in the neighborhood that today surrounds McCarty on Monroe. He built the apartments to fill the need for quality and affordable housing for low-income families and families of color. McCarty often said he hoped the complex might someday serve senior citizens. The city’s Housing Department acquired the apartments in 1977 and preserved McCarty’s original intent for the complex as affordable and safe housing for seniors.

Today, McCarty on Monroe consists of 34 public housing units and 35 low-income housing tax credit units. Placing the parking at grade and building the residential units above the parking allowed the city to expand to 69 units from the original 24. All units are clustered around a central, landscaped courtyard, creating a sense of community and interaction among the residents. The landscaped courtyard includes raised-seat walls, a gazebo, shade trellises and outdoor seating. McCarty on Monroe was designed to complement its urban setting while promoting a sense of “home.” The subtle, colorful palette complements the architecture, character and demographics of the surrounding community, while many “green” elements also were included in the design.

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