excerpt, April 2014

...Dallas-based Odyssey Residential Holdings L.P. tries to preserve apartments like the 60-year-old Grand Manor.

The company applies for funding through state and federal agencies, such as the Texas Department of Housing and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to modernize and turn them into an asset to the community.

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The apartment complex, at 2700 N. Grand Ave. is getting a $6.5 million facelift and a new name — Victory Park.

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Tenants are staying at hotels, with many at the nearby Quality Inn Hotel, or with friends, during construction, apartment manager Robin LaGrone has said, adding that they will move residents back into the units as they are completed.

Construction began in February, and the first building of renovated apartments is expected to be completed in May.

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Melissa Adami, director of development for Odyssey Residential, said they bought the apartment complex in 2012 and they are rehabilitating the entire property. Work includes giving the exterior of the buildings a completely new, updated look, gutting the interiors and replacing them with everything new. They also are building a club house, pool and playgrounds.

Ms. LaGrone said the project was awarded tax credits for low-income housing and was approved for $6.5 million in renovations. They will include a new sidewalk, parking lots, roof, HVAC system, stairway and windows, a new computer center and basketball court, she said. They expect the complete project to last nine to 12 months, depending on the weather, she added.

The property was formerly Texas College Apartments. Ms. LaGrone has said most people who live there are from the immediate area, and many have raised their children there. There also are a lot of senior residents, she added.

“I’m looking forward to the new Victory Park,” she said.

...Ms. Adami said they chose the property because its 120 units are always 100 percent occupied and because it’s next door to Texas College.

“It’s definitely the one we thought we could do the most good with as far as rehabbing the property,” she said.

She said Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle and his department have helped clean up the crime in the area, and he and the city have helped rally around the cause.

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Tyler Morning Telegraph