KAI Texas, one of the area's leading architectural firms in urban planning and design, is celebrating the completion of The Cedars at Carver Park and The Villas on the Strand public housing communities in Galveston, Texas. The $71 million, mixed income developments replace the Magnolia Homes and Cedar Terrace communities that were destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008. A ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating the communities' official grand opening was held on June 22, 2017.
KAI Texas, partnering with the Galveston Housing Authority and Master Developer McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc., provided Architecture, Building Information Modeling, MEP/FP Engineering and Sustainable Design on the projects. KAI is experienced in designing for compliance with the Fair Housing and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) and requirements of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs.
KAI designed The Cedars at Carver Park (spans multiple blocks just west of Downtown Galveston) to include 122 units across 28 buildings and The Villas on the Strand (located in the East End neighborhood between the Strand and The University of Texas Medical Branch) to include 160 units across 15 buildings to create a sense of place and community. Both developments also include such amenities as park spaces, barbecue areas, playgrounds, fitness centers and meeting rooms.
"The design theme celebrates the island's unique character. The buildings resemble Galveston style and blend seamlessly into the fabric of the island's culture and its rich Gulf Coast architectural history," said KAI Texas President and COO Darren L. James.
With Galveston's proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, and most of the city located in a flood zone, all of the structures were designed for greater resilience against future hurricanes with the first floor level located 15 feet above sea level and parking located at grade level under the units. The structures also feature storm-rated windows and conform to Texas Department of Insurance wind load performance standards. Additionally, the homes are environmentally sustainable and conform to Enterprise Green Communities criteria and Energy Star for homes.