The Metropolitan Housing Alliance (MHA), the official housing authority for Little Rock, is working on completing its $130 million Redevelopment in the Rock initiative to renovate hundreds of units in several properties it owns and operates.
In December 2019, the first phase was completed with $60 million invested in renovating nearly 600 units at Fred Parris, Cumberland and Jesse Powell towers.
“It took 15 months to finish, but we thought it would take 18 to 24 months,” Commissioner Leta Anthony told Arkansas Money and Politics. “The tenants who lived there were highly satisfied and did not have to relocate during the renovations.”
The second phase will use the remaining $70 million to renovate units at Central High Apartment Homes, Homes at Granite Mountain, Madison Heights, Stephens Apartments and Sunset Terrace.
“We are ready to do phase two now, so we are looking for Little Rock workers to increase the overall investment in the city and keep those workers local,” said Anthony. “It is estimated that more than 400 workers will be hired to complete the renovations.”
MHA has partnered with Gorman & Company and ITEX to find service providers, vendors and contractors from large to small in the following areas: demolition, abatement, cabinetry, flooring, plumbing, electrical, roofing, HVAC installers, painting, carpentry, pipefitting, sheet metal workers, masonry, landscaping, moving, boilermakers, drywall finishers/tapers, insulation, sprinkler fitters and general laborers.
“Anyone who wants to be part of this project will have the opportunity to bid on the different jobs with bonding assistance available,” Anthony said. “We are doing everything we can to remove any barriers to participate in this project so that big and small contractors even with only one or two individuals can be involved.”
Gorman & Company will select from construction bids submitted for Central High Apartment Homes, Stephens Apartments and Sunset Terrace. It will also offer subcontractors up-front liquidity and bonding. Construction bidding is open from Monday, August 10 to Thursday, September 24. The pre-bid meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 2.
ITEX will select from construction bids submitted for Madison Heights. Construction bidding runs through Sept. 10. Two pre-bid meetings will be held on Aug. 25 and 26.
“We are hopeful that the impact from the participation of the community will have an end result of $30 to $40 million,” said Anthony, later adding that the second phase renovations are expected to begin in late 2020 or early 2021 and completed by mid-2022.
Earlier this year before the pandemic hit, MHA hosted an informational meeting in February where hundreds of people showed up. Anthony pointed out that nearly 600 names were collected as potential service providers, vendors and contractors.
All interested parties can view the bid documents on its website by clicking the “Business with MHA” tab and selecting “Bid Opportunities.” For more information, visit MHAPHA.org, or call the 24-hour RAD hotline at 501-373-8222.
The Redevelopment in the Rock initiative is supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance demonstration (RAD) program, City of Little Rock, Arkansas Development Finance Authority, U.S Department of Interior and the Department of Arkansas Heritage State Historic Preservation.