City approves Civic Park plan
SALISBURY — City Council heard only support Tuesday for the plan to rebuild Civic Park apartments, the centerpiece of the West End Neighborhood Transformation Plan.
Council members praised the design as thoughtful, clever and individualistic and agreed to rezone about 19 acres at the corner of Brenner Avenue and Standish Street and establish a conditional district overlay to allow a mix of 181 public, low-income and market-rate apartments.
People who live in the current 72-unit Civic Park would move into the first phase when completed. Then developers would raze the existing complex and build the second phase.
The city is working with Salisbury Housing Authority “piecing together something that would be quite incredible for our community,” City Manager Doug Paris said.
Councilman Brian Miller praised Sam Foust, executive director for the housing authority, for energy and enthusiasm that Miller said has been contagious.
Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell said public housing has evolved from “Gestapo thinking” where all units were the same color and anonymous.
Councilwoman Karen Alexander said the integration of incomes in the new Civic Park would be healthy for the city.
The project failed to win an $18 million grant last year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development but will re-apply. The project is also competing for N.C. Housing Finance Agency tax credits.