Atlanta Church Partners with City to Build Senior Living for Displaced Residents

Written by The Atlanta Voice

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and The Oasis of Vine City Inc.—a CDC of the Higher Ground Empowerment Center Church along with its pastor, the Rev. Bishop Dexter L. Johnson—announced in a groundbreaking ceremony a new development project that will create jobs and help ease the strains of community displacement in the Vine City community near Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Legacy at Vine City is a 20-million-dollar investment into this community being led by a grass root organization that has served this community for over 24 plus years. Three blocks west of the new $1.5 billion Mercedes Benz Stadium, the Legacy at Vine City is a new development of a 105-unit elderly housing complex being built.

The construction site is 0.3 miles east of Sunset Avenue, the birthplace of the nation’s civil rights movement Dr. Martin Luther King home, and a few hundred yards from the new Rodney Cook Sr. Park now under construction by the city of Atlanta. The Beverly J. Searles Foundation will serve as the co-developer for the project.

“We formed a collaboration with the Beverly J Searles Foundation to bring this 20-year vision of to past,” explained Johnson, who serves as senior pastor of Higher Ground Empowerment Center Church and president of The Oasis of Vine City, Inc. “We have been concerned about senior housing since my predecessor Rev. Edward Hall who pastored this church for 30 years. We wanted to build housing that was affordable and conducive to the needs of those 62 and better.

Philip E. Searles, president of The Beverly J. Searles Foundation, said, “The Beverly J. Searles Foundation is always excited to partner with a local organization and to help them achieve their goal of creating a transformative housing community. We are proud to have played a role in co-developing The Legacy at Vine City and a reality and to do our part to enhance and uplift the area.”

“Without key financial support from Invest Atlanta, Atlanta Housing Authority and Georgia Department of Community Affairs, this beautiful community asset could not have become a reality,” Searles continued. “We give special thanks to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, former Mayor Kasim Reed and Councilman Ivory Lee Young for their assistance with this project.”

Key financial supporters of the project include Invest Atlanta, Atlanta Housing Authority and Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Financing for Oasis of Vine City has been arranged by PNC Real Estate, Cabretta Capital, Community Development Trust, the State Department of Community Affairs, and Invest Atlanta.

The Oasis of Vine City is also supported by: the Beverly J. Searles Foundation; Morton Gruber AIA; Fairway Construction Co., Inc.; AEC, Inc.; Butler Snow LLP; Coleman Talley, LLP; Kutak Rock LLP; Ballard Spahr LLP; Seyfarth Shaw LLP; Spivey, Pope, Green & Greer LLP; and, McGee & Oxford.

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