SUMMECH Community Development Corporation was recognized by the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and Southface at the EarthCraft Celebration of Excellence program, hosted Oct. 19 at the Southface headquarters in Midtown.

SUMMECH received EarthCraft’s 2017 Developer of the Year and 2017 Project of the Year awards during the ceremony for its collaboration with Columbia Residential on the Mechanicsville Cityside development project.

Each year, EarthCraft recognizes “excellent projects, as well as builders, developers and project team members who exhibit a steadfast commitment to sustainable building practices,” according to the program’s website.

EarthCraft Award winners span the Southeast and a variety of building markets, including single family, multifamily, commercial, historic preservation and community developments.

“Columbia Residential and SUMMECH Community Development Corporation of the Mechanicsville Cityside project have warranted their recognition as the 2017 Developer of the Year,” said Robert Reed, senior director for Regenerative Places and Spaces at Southface, in prepared remarks delivered during the ceremony. “Not only did the organizations seek to effectively and intentionally revitalize one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods, but they were committed to bringing affordability and healthy homes to the members of that community.

“Because of their work, more than 70 families will have an EarthCraft-certified home that helps reduce the financial burden of high energy bills through energy efficiency features and construction practices,” he continued. “The developers have also worked with community organizations that provide residents with programs and services, including financial counseling and education.”

Mechanicsville Cityside involved the new construction of 65 single-family detached new construction homes and the renovation of nine previously foreclosed homes for a total of 74 homes.

The $13-million housing development is a public/private, for-profit/not for profit collaboration with Columbia Residential using low-income housing tax credits from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Each home has been leased to families at or below 60 percent of the annual median income in the Mechanicsville neighborhood for a 15-year compliance period with the option to purchase when the period expires.

Throughout the compliance period, SUMMECH will provide ongoing financial literacy, rental counseling, and homebuyer education training for the residents selected to lease these homes in an effort to assist the lessees in being prepared for homeownership.

“One of the oldest neighborhoods in Atlanta, Mechanicsville has become a national model for responsible development, community empowerment, and energy efficiency,” said Charlie Bostwick, board president of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, about the project, which is the first of its kind in the state of Georgia. “This (project) is a great example of what can happen when sustainable construction and efficiency come together to create positive transformation.”

SUMMECH's board of directors and staff received two awards at the EarthCraft Celebration of Excellence. (Lisa Cunningham / Atlanta Film Partners)
SUMMECH’s board of directors and staff received two awards at the EarthCraft Celebration of Excellence. (Lisa Cunningham / Atlanta Film Partners)

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