Houston Affordable Housing Developer Unveils Plans for Mixed-Use Community Center in Near Northside
Avenue Advances Plans for Avenue Center, a 30,500SF Community Resource Hub, With Milestone $2.6 Million Gift
|HOUSTON – (January 7, 2019) – Avenue, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to building affordable homes and strengthening communities, unveiled plans to develop Avenue Center, a new mixed-use community resource hub to be constructed across from Moody Park in Near Northside, one of the pilot neighborhoods included in Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Complete Communities initiative.
Avenue’s efforts to develop Avenue Center received a significant boost today when the City of Houston announced that Avenue Center is one of four area projects receiving funding from the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF) as part of a $6.5 million pledge from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to support Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts focused on community revitalization, homelessness, library services and public health. Avenue will receive approximately $2.6 million for the construction of Avenue Center.
Avenue, currently in the midst of a capital campaign, has also raised over $2.1 million for the Avenue Center project through both public and private funding including gifts from Houston Endowment, The Fondren Foundation, J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation, Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, The Brown Foundation, The Hearst Foundation, NeighborWorks America and Local Initiatives Support Corp (LISC), Amegy Bank, Marek Family Foundation, East West Bank and the Conely Foundation.
“We are thrilled to unveil our plans for Avenue Center, a new mixed-use community complex designed to meet the needs of Near Northside residents,” said Mary Lawler, executive director at Avenue. “Avenue has been working with the Near Northside community for many years, supporting efforts by residents to revitalize an area with a rich history and cultural identity while preserving the neighborhood’s unique character and affordability.”
Located at 3527 Irvington Blvd., the three-story development will feature approximately 30,500 square feet of community programming space including Avenue’s headquarters, realty office, and Homeownership Center, along with a health clinic and an early childhood education center, which will help address the shortage of early childhood education capacity in the Near Northside community.
Lawler noted that the goal of Avenue Center is to conveniently co-locate a variety of vital resources for residents – especially low-income families – to improve access to essential support services that will improve the quality of life for neighborhood families and the community as a whole.
“We look forward activating this resource hub for our neighbors when Avenue Center opens in early 2020,” she said.
Avenue tapped multidisciplinary architecture and engineering firm Page for the design for Avenue Center, which is inspired by the vibrant cultural fabric of the Near Northside Community as well as Avenue’s existing development portfolio.
When completed, Avenue Center will be situated at the heart of the vibrant Near Northside community, near several neighborhood landmarks including the community park and walking trails at Avenue Place, M.D. Anderson YMCA, Carnegie Library, Irvington Park, Moody Park and Recreation Center, and the METRO North Corridor rail line, which connects the Greater Northside community with key districts including Downtown Houston, the Museum District and Texas Medical Center.
In recent years, Avenue has constructed 900 affordable homes and apartments in Houston, specifically in the greater Northside community. In Near Northside, Avenue has developed Fulton Gardens, an 88-unit senior apartment development that is situated along the METRORail; Avenue Place, a 95-unit single family development; Avenue Terrace, a 192-unit multifamily complex; and Avenue Station, a 68-unit multifamily complex. In the adjacent Northline neighborhood, Avenue recently announced Avenue Meadows, a new 16-unit single-family development targeted to low and moderate-income homebuyers. These developments offer Houstonians affordable housing prices, as well as access to a variety of amenities, including after school programs and community enrichment opportunities.
In 2017, Near Northside was designated as one of five pilot neighborhoods for Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Complete Communities initiative, which focuses on ensuring Houston communities have the quality of life elements needed for residents to live and prosper in their own neighborhoods. These elements include adequate access to healthcare, educational resources, healthy groceries, parks and green space, quality public transit and economic opportunities. The initiative seeks to address these elements in Houston communities where they are lacking and includes provisions for sufficient quality, affordable housing – something that has become a growing concern across the City of Houston, including in the Near Northside community.
For more information about Avenue’s community development and revitalization efforts visit, https://www.avenuecdc.org/.
Avenue’s mission is to build affordable homes and strengthen communities. The organization enhances the quality of life of working families and works to promote healthy, vibrant and economically diverse neighborhoods that are essential to Houston’s future as a world-class city. Avenue develops homes for purchase and rent as well as provides homebuyer education and counseling to help working families buy and maintain their own homes. We promote economic development and offer supportive services such as computer labs, after-school programs, and nutrition, fitness, and financial literacy classes that enrich the lives of the individuals and families we serve. Avenue is a member of the nationwide NeighborWorks® Network of more than 245 community development organizations working in nearly 4,358 urban, suburban and rural communities across America. Connect with Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBAvenueCDC and Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvenueCDC.