Cooper Green Housing Community
The Cooper Green Housing Community is a 227-unit housing project located at 1501 Arthur Shores Drive in Mason City. The property is administrated under the jurisdiction of the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District and managed by Pernita Banks. Community president is Addie Walton.
As of 1999 units at Cooper Green were rented in the range of $204 for 1 bedroom units up to $467 for 4 bedroom units.
In 2003 the HABD revealed plans to demolish all of the community's buildings and build 250 new units on the same site. The Birmingham office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development recommended against demolition and argued that the authority should proceed with previous plans to refurbish the existing units. The renovation, planned by Taylor Design Associates was, at the time, estimated to require $22 million.
The Birmingham City Council approved an expenditure of $1,171,000 in June 2005 for improvements to the Community, including security screens, doors and screen doors as well as landscaping and office renovations.
In 2005 the HABD applied to HUD to demolish 100 units at Cooper Green, beginning in August. Bids received for the renovation plan in June 2006 came in at $44 and $47 million and were both rejected. The board re-bid the project in phases and had to meet an August 30 deadline to tap into a $112 million bond pool shared with other state housing agencies.
The first phase of renovation was awarded to the Wild Building Company of Morristown, Tennessee on August 7, 2006. The $20 million contract included renovation of 102 apartments, demolition of 23 buildings, and construction of a management office, community building, maintenance shop and day care. Wild was obligated to insure 22% minority participation on its contract.
Theft of copper water pipes caused significant damage and a water bill of over $100,000. HABD was only able to shut off water to the project in late November, 2006 after the last residents had moved out.
In September 2008 the HABD amended its contract with Wild, agreeing to pay $4.1 million in order to proceed with the second and third phases of renovation at Cooper Green. The amendment covered the renovation of 22 apartments in four buildings. In March 2009 HABD voted to accept $14 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, most of which would be used to complete renovations at Cooper Green by the end of 2010. The fund allowed an additional 70 apartments to be renovated.
Runoff from the site, which adjoins Nabor's Branch, muddied Valley Creek downstream. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) determined that required permits had not been filed and no barricades were erected to protect the stream. The agency levied an $18,000 fine against HABD. The site's underground sewers also had to be re-installed after inspections found standing water in the pipes.
The total $42 million renovation was completed in February 2012
- Norris, Toraine (August 8, 2006) "Firm gets $20 million contract in Cooper Green Homes renovation." The Birmingham News
- Norris, Toraine (December 4, 2006) "Cooper Green families out; Housing Authority to address thefts". The Birmingham News
- Gray, Jeremy (September 23, 2008) "Birmingham Housing authority OKs Cooper Green Homes contract change." The Birmingham News
- Norris, Toraine (March 24, 2009) "Cooper Green Homes to get federal money". The Birmingham News
- Gray, Jeremy (February 16, 2011) "ADEM levies $18,000 penalty against Birmingham Housing Authority for pollution." The Birmingham News
- Gray, Jeremy (February 3, 2012) "$42 million renovation for Birmingham's Cooper Green Homes nearly done." The Birmingham News