© 2023 Peoria Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

First residents set to move into new Providence Pointe development early next year

 The phases of redevelopment: The 70-year-old barracks-style housing of the Taft Homes (left) is being demolished to make way for the new townhouse-style housing of Providence Point (right, under construction).
Tim Shelley
The phases of redevelopment: The 70-year-old barracks-style housing of the Taft Homes, left, is being demolished to make way for the new townhouse-style housing of Providence Point, right, under construction.

The first residents of the new Providence Pointe development in Peoria's North Valley could begin moving in by early 2023.

That's the word from Armeca Crawford, executive director of the Peoria Housing Authority.

"We anticipate having the first phase completed in sometime February, March or spring of 2023," Crawford said. "Our goal is to have the development completed somewhere in 2024, if construction stays on schedule."

The redevelopment of the former Taft Homes takes advantage of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department's Rental Assistance Demonstration, or RAD, program. That allowed the PHA to leverage private capital for the project.

The PHA is partnered with Wisconsin-based Bear Development LLC for the new Providence Pointe development.

"I've been on the board since 2003. And it's been on the agenda since then, to get that old stock out and to put in some residential homes that were appropriate for our community," said PHA board chairman Carl Cannon. "So we've been working on that for a long time."

Under the RAD agreement, the 142 new units are converting to Section 8 housing. That means a new management company is running the housing development.

Residents will continue to pay 30% of their adjusted gross income toward rent. Crawford said the Taft Homes-era policy of owner-paid utilities also will continue.

"It will help to, in some areas, curtail evictions, because that's one of the reasons why families are evicted," said Crawford.

The demolition of the Taft Homes and construction of Providence Pointe began last October. The project is proceeding in phases, with residents gradually moving into the new housing units. Taft Homes residents maintain the right of first return to the new townhouse-style housing, which features 1-5 bedroom units.

"Some of the residents that are still living in the old Taft and occupying the old units, we will then start to relocate them to the new units so that we can start the second phase, as well," Crawford said.

Bear Development's Adam Templer told WCBU last year that the first wave of housing could be completed by this past summer.

Crawford acknowledged supply chain issues are a concern in maintaining the current construction timeline.

She didn't have an immediate current overall cost estimate for the redevelopment, which various news reports have pegged somewhere between $43-47 million. She said the PHA is working with Bear Development to keep track of potential cost overruns related to delays or inflation.

Cannon is optimistic replacing the outdated, barracks-style Taft Homes with the new Providence Pointe will be a positive change for the neighborhood

"The first thing you're gonna see when you cross that bridge when you come across the Murray Baker, you look to the right, you're gonna see a brand new neighborhood, which is a block and a half away from downtown," he said. "So we're going to encourage others, businesses, etc., to help us continue the development of this brand new neighborhood."

We depend on your support to keep telling stories like this one. You – together with donors across the NPR Network – create a more informed public. Fact by fact, story by story. Please take a moment to donate now and fund the local news our community needs. Your support truly makes a difference.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.