A year later: Resident reflects on successful campaign to ‘Save Summerville Park’ from a hotel development as new Housing Authority units are built.

A year later: Resident reflects on successful campaign to ‘Save Summerville Park’ from a hotel development as new Housing Authority units are built.

Construction continues on the new housing units last week. Hometown photo.

It’s been just over year ago that Summerville Park residents campaigned to ‘Save Summerville Park’ from a proposed 52-room Sleep Inn hotel at the corner of Charlton Street and Martha Berry Boulevard. Fast-forward to now and crews are working quickly on the 10 senior housing apartments at 1701 Martha Berry Boulevard now under construction by the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority.

Thanks to extra efforts by Mayor Bill Collins, homeowners, Executive Director Sandra Hudson and the Housing Authority, efforts to turn back the hotel development were successful as the Housing Authority purchased the property from the hotel developer for the new senior housing project.  The property was rezoned by the Rome City Commission last November and the project began just after the first of the year.

The project includes five buildings with 10 units overall, including six one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units, according to plans submitted to the Rome-Floyd Building Inspection Department.

Reflecting back on their efforts a year later, Summerville Park resident Eric McDowell says he is “proud” of how his neighborhood joined together for a positive outcome.

“Our campaign against the hotel was an ideal example of what a committed community can accomplish through perseverance and cooperation,” he says. “We entered the battle at a marked disadvantage, but fought together toward an elegant solution.”

The City Commission had basically said there were no options to prevent the hotel as the zoning and ownership met city standards.

“Instead of experiencing the hotel encroachment that was threatening our neighborhood, Summerville Park is watching the construction of five new residences that will enhance the beauty and charm of our community,” says McDowell, who is a Mathematics professor at Berry College.

“Thanks to Sandra Hudson and her Board, we will soon be welcoming many new neighbors to their Charlton Street homes.  I could not be more proud nor more pleased of this astonishing collective accomplishment.”

Construction looks to be on track to be completed by the end of the year. Hometown Headlines left messages and emails with Hudson and the Housing Authority for an update on construction and the application process, but did not receive any response.
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