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Work starts on senior apartments in north PTC

Construction is underway on a senior apartment complex near the Kedron Village shopping center that will include 96 units.

HearthSide Peachtree City is a $14.2 million project undertaken by NorSouth Development, which describes the complex as an “amenity-rich, affordable rental community reserved exclusively for independent seniors age 62 and older.”

The project, located at the end of Newgate Road bordering the shopping center, is expected to be complete in late 2013.

HearthSide will offer one and two bedroom units along with a community room with bistro, media room, fitness center, art studio and salon. Also planned are a walking path near the creek along the site, a garden center with planting beds and covered golf cart spaces with charging stations.

The three-story building will include two elevators and security card access for residents.

“We believe there is a strong need for affordable homes for independent seniors, especially in established communities like Peachtree City, where I imagine family members of potential HearthSide residents already live,” said Dave Dixon, managing partner of NorSouth. “Everything at HearthSide Peachtree City has been created for the comfort and enjoyment of our future residents, to maximize freedom, reduce stress and enable them to live well.”

NorSouth will be setting aside at least 80 percent of its units for tenants based on income guidelines, with an eligible tenant making no more than $30,100 a year for a one-bedroom unit and up to $34,400 for a two-bedroom unit.

Other units will be made available at “market rent,” NorSouth has said previously.

NorSouth Vice President Brendan Barr noted that the senior household growth over the last decade has outpaced Peachtree City’s total household growth.

“Many of these seniors will choose a rental lifestyle, free from the responsibilities of home ownership and maintenance, as well as free from substantial entry fees and association dues found at some senior communities. There’s no comparable community to HearthSide here in Peachtree City, so we are excited about meeting this pent-up demand.”

The building is being constructed to meet EarthCraft Communities standards with the use of organic landscaping, community composting, LED outdoor lighting and more.

The project was initially pitched to the city council in June 2010 but was voted down 4-1. It was revived in March 2011 after NorSouth sued the city in federal court, claiming racial discrimination based on a comment from Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix that he was worried the new development might “become Harmony Village.”

That lawsuit noted that Harmony Village Apartments, located off Peachtree Parkway in south Peachtree City, “accepts Section 8 vouchers and houses a predominantly minority population.”
The city contended the comment was not based on racial discrimination, rather on “a host of code enforcement issues and public safety issues.”



Will you be invited to the groundbreaking ceremony?

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Whether the subsidy comes from tax credits that entitle 80% of the renters to below-market rents or the Section 8 vouchers (which themselves have an income requirement) entitle the renters to below-market rents, the end result is still the same. People are paying below market rents in a community and a building that would otherwise not be able to afford. History shows us that they don't respect the property or the neighbors or the surrounding community and have a much higher cost to the law enforcement community based upon factual data regarding call outs to specific addresses. So, he's right. Of course he's also wrong not to realize he has a responsibility to keep his mouth shut as an elected official, but that's a different issue.

I doubt the seniors living in this new subsidized housing will be as blatent in breaking the rules regarding multiple "cousins" and other kin moving in illegally, nor will these seniors be out on the cart paths mugging other seniors, but it will be interesting to watch. Really is a strange commercial location for a residential community, but I guess the land was cheap and bought out of the Pathway bankruptcy.

Live free or die!

The funding for this project comes from the State of Georgia Department of Housing (not Federal) and investments from pension funds (last I heard).

These are actually profitable ventures where lower than normal rents can be offered due to low interest funding from the State of Georgia that is targeted for senior housing only! Nothing else.

The target customer are people who are living on a combination of social security + pensions.
For those who were on planning commission at the time, we toured a number of the complexes. All were populated with retired people. They were beautifully well maintained, upscale and extremely nice.
NorSouth operates at almost maximium occupancy because they are able to offer so excellent rent rates due to how they fund their projects. There is currently high demand for this housing and it will continue to climb as baby boomers age.

At the time, planning commission voted in favor of the project.

Ultimately, whatever your opinion is, as an elected official when this went to council for the vote, it should have been a simple "yes" or "no" vote with no conversation or "commentaries" which is apparently hard for the mayor to do. Call it "On the job training" with 2 lawsuits to prove it both ultimately paid for by the taxpayers.

If the mayor decides to run for re-election, this is one of many issues that needs to come out so people understand and can pick the right person. Too much time wasted on "control" issues and money squandered.
This is a great place to live and it needs a great mayor.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Always has been. The method by which subsidized housing has been created does not change the fact that it is subsidized housing. From the beginning the developer made a big deal about not accepting Section 8 vouchers (subtly demonizing them) and made the financing subsidy from Georgia's version of HUD sound pristine.

Granted the age requirements and the target market and possibly the quality of management make a Harmony Village clone unlikely. But it is still subsidized housing and when the target market doesn't respond in sufficient numbers or residents start cheating by taking their grandkids in from Clayton County to access our schools or management becomes lax - it is still subsidized housing in Peachtree City.

I understand why the planning commission bought into the presentation, and if everything goes exactly as planned with absolutely nothing going wrong, then it will be a wonderful project for PTC. But since things seldom go as planned, planning commission or staff or council should have imposed some deed restrictions or performance standards so the city would have some say in correcting future wrongs. Always dangerous to rezone property under the threat of a lawsuit or the supervision of a judge - just ask Tyrone. I thought we were smarter than that. Never would have happened if Jim Williams and Jim Basinger were running the show.

Live free or die!

NUK_1's picture

That's a perfect name for our esteemed Mayor and I'll make sure to use that in the future.

mudcat's picture

Look at what The Citizen wrote about you!

"NorSouth sued the city in federal court, claiming racial discrimination based on a comment from Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix that he was worried the new development might “become Harmony Village.”

You have always said the suit was about the city's shortage of affordable housing and had nothing to do with your comments. So, here's your chance - sue for libel! Might be worth as much as $12,000. Go for it. Prove to us that you are right. Please, please, please.

Mike King's picture

Looks like our mayor is caught in yet another departure from the truth, and it's likely only a matter of time before he posts another spin blaming the whole fiasco on someone other than himself.

His new moniker does have a ring to it.

Hey Larry

These Senior Tax Credit communities are generally authorized and funded under HUD Section 9 which is the same section that gives you the housing projects. The usual period for the tax credits to the developers (and thus investors) is 20 years. The problem is that this program is just over 20 years old so there is not a lot of experience as to what happens when the tax credits run out. In Portland OR, a community was turned over to the Portland Housing Authority at the end of the credits. The communities are generally set up by private developers with input form some sort of housing authority but not always.

Generally these are run better as they are MIMFs (Mixed Income Mixed Finance) and the assumption is that poverty is deconcentrated by mixing low income and "market" rents as well as private and public money. Atlanta Housing has replaced its housing projects with this type of housing. The nice condos by Centennial Olympic Park are MIMFs run by private property management built with Federal $. Harmony Village and one other were PBRA properties. PBRA is project based rental assistance. In these cases a Housing Authority contracts with a private land lord for a certain number of units and guarentees payment with HUD Section 8 (Housing Choice) vouchers.

All this said, I think it is good to have a certain number of low income housing in our master planned community of Peachtree City. Many of our senior relatives have lived in a form of low income housing under many names across the nation. However, like any other form of housing or zoning it should be planned for and integrated into the whole of the city dynamic as seniors may not drive schools but do require other services, how will we pay for these new residents who are low income? In my mind this is more of a zoning and planning question

Take Care and Happy New Year,


Thanks for the information.
Had our mayor just voted (in silence) and not biased the entire process which he did at the very first joint workshop with his comments, it might have just moved through the process and voted down based on zoning but he can't control himself which is apparent in blogs and other lawsuits.

There is so much that will come out in the November mayoral elections!
We can no longer afford to have a mayor who lies by telling partial truths or manipulates the facts then attacks people when they call him on it.

Haddix is not credible and his opponents in the next election will prove that.
If he is smart he will not embarrass himself by running again.

Thanks again.

thank you for the first informative comment i have read on this site. i am one of the low income citizens who has lived in this community and coweta county for forty plus years. never in a six figure income, my credit is excellent, my background perfect with the exception of a seat belt violation. I truly need and welcome this community. i pray the elite in this city will realize not all hard working blue collars want to destroy what the original plan was for this city.


Don Haddix tried to stop this development.
So why do you support him as much as you do?

NorSouth is an excellent company with an excellent product!

Maybe you need to re-think your future support.
Google NorSouth and look at the properties they build and manage.

Thank you

Yes i did visit the NorSouth site and their properties are excellent. My post to the Mayor addresses your question and comment.

Yes i did visit the NorSouth site and their properties are excellent. My post to the Mayor addresses your question and comment.

Don Haddix's picture

You know the motives of the attackers.

Fact is there was never a racist word said by anyone. Fact is it was about too much capacity and I referenced the Days Inn and Peachtree Station that became problems when they did not make a profit. Fact is I gave five years worth of crime reports to prove my case. Fact is the case that won was based on the claim we lacked low income senior (not racial) housing by Federal standards.

Look at the empty retail space in PTC as well.

We did and do have other low cost apartments. Some subsidized. They are not problems.

We wanted them to develop an existing site, not build yet another complex. They refused because the grants only covered new construction.

There are a lot of blue collar in PTC. Like you, many have lived here far longer than the ones making such a fuss.

I have lived here 26 years and am not rich as well.

This is a very complex issue as the poster you referenced has shown.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

I agree with you on most points in your reply and the issue is perhaps more complex than i understand. I appreciate you taking the time to address me and my comment. I know you are a good man and care for this city and fight for its success. I have watched and followed you and as stated before though i do not agree with everything, i support you because i truly do believe it.
Like many i want to stay in this community and read the original information and comments and commented several months ago. I went to the site and actually visited a property near fairburn. The properties are truly set up for seniors and for it to run as presented i understand there must be checks and double checks placed to insure the property is used as it is intended.

Mr. Mayor, thank you again.

You are extremely polite to the mayor.
It's not that complex....only in his brain!

Meanwhile while he wrestles with these complex issues in his brain, taxpayers are paying for his self inflicted lawsuits, service departments are facing EEOC lawsuits, furniture is being thrown away in dumpsters and instead of showing leadership he thrashes and trashes city council members.

Josh Bloom's photo of a dumpster filled with good furniture paid for with taxpayer money should be the poster photo describing his failed tenure as mayor.

Maybe harsh, but true.

Thank you for being polite! And FYI, Mr. Haddix declined to take the tour of NorSouth properties when they offered them. I'm glad to hear you visited them.

A very smart person in town once said to me that politicians who survive are ones who almost always vote NO and/or bury projects by continually asking for more data to avoid a vote..they do it because if they voted YES they could be held accountable.

We need a leader, not a politician as our next mayor.

You visited a property near Fairburn? Where exactly is that?

If you can figure out what the mayor is babbling about, feel free to explain.
It's very complex....
You see, if NorSouth builds it, they will come! The run at 98% capacity.
People who live in Fayette who want to downsize will move there and be able to stay in town and new people such as parents of residents will move here. Oh, it's next to a shopping center with a golf cart path. So, now these people who move there on a fixed income will have more money in their pockets and they can ride their golf carts over about 750 feet into the shopping center and spend money in our local economy. Sales will go up and then more people will want to open stores in the center filling the vacant space.

Affordable housing, more disposable income to the people who live there, more money to spend in the stores in the shopping center, more people will open stores to serve these people.

Very complex issue, sounds like economic development!

Hopefully you will agree.

And do you know anyone who might want some new desks and chairs, there's a dumpster in town filled with taxpayer paid for office equipment being thrown away that someone could use.


Don Haddix's picture

A huge question NorSouth could not answer for me was what happens if the property fails to make money? Would it, like in other areas, be sold to someone else? How could a money loser be properly maintained when by law and deed restriction it had to be 62 and and older?

Their only answer was it won't fail. Sorry, not good enough for me.

As for rental cost, judge for yourself (take out the space between t t. I am avoiding the spam filter:
ht tp://
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It is not restricted to seniors needing help. Yes, there are subsidies. No, you don't have to need them to live there. Or need full subsidy.

It is here, I am not standing in its way. I made the proposal to sell them the whole road, not a part, so PTC didn't have to pay the maintenance and voted yes on all the final proposals, etc.

It is a reality. The only ones trying to now make a stink now are a handful of bloggers.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Actually it's a moot point since you opened your big fat mouth which got us in a lawsuit.... Now they are building the apartments.
Maybe you were part drunk during the opening workshop?
Oh, I'm confusing the 2 Don Haddix Foot in Mouth Lawsuits!

Sorry, you are just not credible!

Don Haddix's picture

ht tp://

<cite>“The concern I have about the development agreement is making sure on a couple of points that NorSouth and any future owner are held accountable that prevents another Harmony Village whether through receivership or sale,” Sussberg said.</cite>

Enough said.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Absolutetly correct quote, in fact NorthSouth was willing to discuss writing provisions concerning this issue.

The problem is that at the opening workshop you made it very clear to Brendan Barr that this project would never pass!

Mr. Haddix, you can not continue to lie to the citizens and/or tell partial truths like this one. You have done it for too long. Each time you lie you get caught making it harder and harder to keep up with them.

Meanwhile, you have lost all crediblity when you took the $12,000 in public money to pay for your private lawsuit....

You have lost all public trust, and have no creibility so when you run again for mayor, the 3+ candidates who will run against you will bring out every lie you have told!

Remember too that those candidates will have political parties backing them so they will have financial support. Spend $12,000 stolen tax payer money wisely.

So, you can try to attack me any way you can, but I am not an elected official and have no interest other than to see that you are not re-elected. You do not possess the leadership skills to run this city but please run again and let's see what the voters decide this time around when your record is presented to the voters by your opponents.

Now, instead of sitting on the computer, monitoring the blogs and throwing out half truths, why not do your job.

You have no credibility and you have violated the public's trust.

Mike King's picture

I can remember a historical review of sorts whereby you objected to correcting the minutes of a Council Meeting when the video clearly proved you were wrong. If memory serves, you were the only negative vote in a 4-1 approval to amend those minutes.

In the Norsouth issue there are witnesses to what was actually said, shall we get the video?

so now here we have the complex going up, has anyone ever tried to speak with the people building the complex to ask them more questions. Not the people who proposed the site, but the folks doing the labor. As a 1/2 mexican born in america, why when I tried to talk with them no one could speak in english, and it was majority spanish speaking folks. make any sense there!

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