NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches senior community described by developers as once being blighted and mismanaged is receiving a major renovation. The work is delighting residents.
The sound of saws and hammering at Pine Lake Estates on Durst Street in Nacogdoches just added to the excitement Debra Fisher felt having over moving into a newly renovated apartment.
"It has really been a blessing. And I've seen one of the new remodeled units and it's very nice," said Debra Fisher, a resident of Pine Lake Estates. "They are pretty. We're getting all those amenities with new washer and dryer, everything. And it's even pet friendly cause I have my dog Willie."
Pine Lake Estates was built in 1979. The outdated 100 units are being stripped to their shell for a total makeover.
Hazel Bellard has lived at Pine Lake for 20 years, and she said she believes renovations were long overdue.
"Well I probably think so, but then I'm not the one that makes that type of decision," Bellard said.
Austin developer Roland Broussard, vice-president of Realtex Management is the decision maker. The firm was awarded tax credits through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to get the project going.
"At the end of the day we were successfully able to secure about $9 to 10 million worth of financing sources to go ahead and do this gut rehab," Broussard said.
With stage one completed, many residents are enjoying handicap accessible remodeled units furnished with new appliances, ceiling fans, flooring, and energy-efficient heating and cooling units. Just having something new improves residents' outlook. Ruby Nash, a resident of Pine Lake Estates, bought new area rugs for herself.
"The apartment is so pretty you have to do something else to make yourself look like you're doing something," Nash said.
Outside are street lights. Security fencing and gates are going up. Covered parking and sidewalks complete with curb cuts serve residents now.
"I remember going up and down hills before the sidewalks were put in, and it makes a big difference with the ramps," said Beverly Matthews, a resident of Pine Lake Estates.
Stroke victim Freddie Gipson is enjoying a wider front porch.
"I actually fell off the other porch," said resident Freddie Gipson. "When I come out on this one I have no problem."
Also under construction is an outdoor pavilion.
"We're going to have an outdoor kitchen, barbeque grill, and several resident activities every month," said Robin Lagrone, the property manager at Pine Lake Estates.
The manager says for the first time in a very long time there is a waiting list of seniors wanting to move into Pine Lake.
"I'm glad to live here," Matthews said.
"Pine Lake Estates" renovation should be complete by the end of August with the facility totally occupied by the end of the year.
Developers want the project to serve as an anchor to partner with community-based services, such as the housing authority, to renovate neglected properties.