The Haralson Gateway-Beacon
By: Kelly Quimby
After opening at the end of last year, Bremen’s newest apartment complex, Dogwood View Apartments, held an open house and Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting last week in celebration of the complex being nearly full to capacity.
The new apartments, located on Mangham Drive, are strictly for residents 55 and over, and offer a community room with a library and internet access, a picnic pavilion, and a mini golf course, among other amenities.
Of the 40 apartments within the complex, Apartment Manager Debbie Holcombe said that all but six have been committed to tenants, and several applications are still up for review.
Jerry Braden of the Braden Group, a real estate development firm out of Summerville, Ga., that owns the property, said that the project was supported by tax credits from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ Office of Affordable Housing, federal stimulus funding, and HOME Investment Partnership Act money, as well as funding from Regions Bank. He said the GDCA has distributed pictures of the property, complete with the home-fronts located on it, to others looking to take advantage of the credits offered to those who provide affordable housing.
“For the last five or six years, we’ve only done one family complex, senior living has a really good demand, and it’s a really good thing for the community,” he said. “The rents are under $400 a month, and these are apartments that would rent in Atlanta for $1,500 a month. They’re really nice apartments. And for a senior that’s just got $1,000 or $1,200 a month in social security, they can afford to pay and these tax credits make this affordable.”
Braden said the GDCA grants funding to projects with the understanding that rent must remain affordable for the tenants.
“You can tell by looking at these that they’re nice units, the Department of Community Affairs requires a lot of bricks and energy saving, and I think that’s a very good thing for Georgia,” he said. “We’re going to continue doing this as long as they have programs that work like this.”
Braden and his wife, Annamarie, own several properties similar to Dogwood View throughout the state.
Dan Forsyth, a real estate broker out of Rockmart, Ga., said that when he and the Bradens approached the city of Bremen about the apartments, they received a very warm reception.
“We were very well received by city officials,” Forsyth said. “I don’t recall ever being received so well.”
Chamber of Commerce President Jennie English said the new complex is an asset to the local community, and like other chamber members, Dogwood View Apartments will get a strong commitment from the chamber community.
“On behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors, I have to say, this place is just fabulous,” English said. “It’s assets like this in a community that makes a better quality of life.”
The complex offers one- and two-bedroom apartments to its residents, and will offer several community activities, classes and programs to its residents.
Braden said that his work in real estate development has shown how well the programs offered by the GDCA benefit older residents in rural communities.
“What we find is that a complex like [Dogwood View] actually keeps people out of nursing homes and assisted living facilities,” he said. “This is an efficient way to house seniors, a great savings to all of us, and it gives them a good quality of life. It’s a place that they’re proud of and they make friends. They already have programs for them over there and they will continue to do that.”
The Bradens plan to return to the project in two or three years’ time to begin a second phase of apartments, probably with the same amenities.