ATLANTA—Vitus Group, a national developer and owner of affordable housing, announced the preservation and planned renovation of Abernathy Towers at 1059 Oglethorpe Ave. SW—99 units of housing for low-income older adults. The acquisition will preserve the affordability of the apartments for another 20 years.

“Vitus is excited to create our first quality affordable rental stock project in Atlanta. The rehabilitation will include improved outdoor gathering space with gardens and a gazebo, in addition to the installation of new kitchens, bathrooms and windows,” said Vitus Group development director, Scott Langan. “We’ve worked together with the Atlanta community and local organizations to make this preservation of vital affordable housing for older adults a reality—so that they can continue living independently.”

Located in the West End Historic District, within walking distance to Howell Park and approximately three miles from downtown, the building houses approximately 125 older adults. A full 99 percent of the building’s units will be set aside for low-income older adults who will pay no more than 30 percent of their annual household income on rent. The renovation will include interior upgrades that will improve the building to be comparable to market rate residential apartment standards. The rehab will include green features such as high-efficiency appliances to reduce overall energy usage and resident utility bills.

The revitalization effort will also incorporate active design features into the building, including a community garden, exercise equipment, shaded outdoor seating areas, widened sidewalks and improved outdoor lighting.  These infrastructure improvements will be supported by additional ongoing health and wellness programs to encourage physical activity, social gathering and a healthy lifestyle.

As one of the first affordable housing partners for the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), Vitus Group has committed to building healthier communities across the country by incorporating active design elements into at least 80 percent of its future projects.  PHA, headed up by honorary chair Michelle Obama, works with the private sector to make healthier choices easily accessible for busy parents and families. Vitus is working with the Center for Active Design to independently verify the most effective features, tailored for specific communities.