Grand Opening of Magnolia Plaza

Houston HUD Program Office Director of Multifamily Housing, Raynold Richardson, congratulates partners on the collaborative effort between federal, state and local government and the private sector in the successful renovation of the Magnolia Plaza complex.

On November 8, 2011, officials met to celebrate the completion of the major renovation of the Magnolia Plaza 60-unit affordable housing project in Navasota, TX. Formerly known as Prince Hall Plaza, the complex was originally built in 1968 and consisted of 30 duplexes located on four acres. It was in desperate need of renovation. The newly renovated complex boasts 60.

Raynold Richardson, Director of Multifamily Housing in the Houston HUD Program Office, told those attending, "Magnolia Plaza is the perfect picture of collaboration between federal, state and local government and the private sector to provide decent and safe affordable sustainable housing."

The ITEX Group, along with Sterling Bank, invested $7.29 million to acquire and renovate all of Magnolia Plaza's apartments. In 2010, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), through a competitive bidding process, awarded the ITEX Group a portion of Texas' annual allocation of 1602 Exchange Funds to replace federal housing tax credits to help finance the renovation project in Navasota.

Mayor Bert Miller thanked the ITEX Group for making the investment in Navasota, explaining that the families living in the neighborhood would have a much better quality of life because of the improvements. He added that the City Council had been supportive of the project since they were initially approached by ITEX in January 2010.

Houston HUD Program Office Director of Multifamily Housing, Raynold Richardson (with scissors), joins others in celebrating the grand opening of the Magnolia Plaza affordable housing project in Navasota, TX.
Chris Akbari, ITEX Vice President, thanked the public officials for their assistance and support which he said is vital to any successful public/private collaborative venture. He emphasized that the renovations included significantly more than new paint and a few minor repairs. The construction company installed new energy-efficient central air conditioning and heating systems, upgraded insulation and installed Energy Star appliances in every apartment.

As a "Green Project," Magnolia Plaza residents will also benefit from energy efficient roofing, doors, windows, siding and lighting. ITEX installed new flooring and cabinets in all units and made improvements to the grounds and common areas. New shrubbery was planted; 65 parking spaces were paved; and, the Community Center was modernized to include a wireless computer center and a rehabilitated exercise facility. Five of the apartments were specially designed for residents with impairments, including limited mobility and hearing or vision impairments.

To live at Magnolia Plaza, families must have annual household earnings of no greater than $32,280 (60% of the Area Median Income). Area residents interested in moving to the remodeled complex may contact ITEX Property Manager, Patti Dunn, at (936) 825-7935.


Content Archived: January 10, 2013