The Chattanooga Housing Authority board Tuesday agreed to hire the Washington, D.C., firm of EJP Consulting to help implement a plan to improve Chattanooga's Westside of downtown, which includes CHA's biggest and oldest housing project.
CHA directors voted to spend $200,000 to hire EJP as an implementation manager for the Westside Evolves plan, which was unveiled over the weekend. The plan proposes renovating both the 429-unit College Hills Courts and the 132-unit Gateway Towers owned by CHA and developing other nearby properties and the former James A. Henry school to create a bigger, more diverse and dynamic community.
Under the direction of project manager Rhae Parkes, EJP Consulting Group worked with the Chattanooga Design Studio, the city and CHA over the past nine months to solicit ideas from local residents and stakeholders to develop the renovation plan billed as "Westside Community Evolves."
To help implement the ideas, EJP will work to create interest by developers, investors, foundations and others to help fund the proposed new projects. The local investments could be matched with up to $35 million in Choice Neighborhood grants if CHA is successful in securing such federal aid.
College Hill Courts was built in 1940 and is the biggest and oldest housing project in Chattanooga.