A development that signifies a new start for the hard-hit city of Detroit has been selected the overall winner in Affordable Housing Finance’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

Emerald Springs has risen on a 26-acre site where part of a World War II-era public housing project was demolished nearly 10 years ago. The initial phase has 158 units.

The $33.1 million project was developed by the Detroit Housing Commission and Unified Property Group.

Financing for the project was provided by AEGON USA Realty Advisors, JPMorgan Chase, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Detroit Housing Commission, the Detroit Department of Public Works, and the Detroit Planning and Development Department.

In addition to being voted the top overall development, Emerald Springs has been selected as the best family project.

The magazine received more than 140 nominations this year for the top developments of 2011 and 2012. Affordable Housing Finance magazine and e-newsletter subscribers then selected the winners from 34 finalists in nine categories.

The others winners are:

  • Green: M Station in Austin, Texas, developed by Foundation Communities
  • Historic Rehab: Saint Luke’s Manor in Cleveland, developed by Pennrose Properties, LLC, and Neighborhood Progress, Inc.
  • Master-Planned/Mixed-Use: Savannah Gardens in Savannah, Ga., developed by Mercy Housing Southeast, Inc.
  • Preservation: Harold Washington Apartments in Chicago, developed by Mercy Housing Lakefront
  • Rural: Alta Vista de la Montaña in Delta, Colo., developed by Community Resources and Housing Development Corp.
  • Seniors: Fair Oaks Plaza in Sunnyvale, Calif., developed by MidPen Housing Corp.
  • Special-Needs: The Commons at Livingston in Columbus, Ohio; developed by National Church Residences
  • Urban: The Homes at Old Colony in South Boston, Mass., developed by Beacon Communities Development LLC, in partnership with the Boston Housing Authority

The winners will be featured in the November/December issue and will be recognized at a luncheon concluding AHF Live: The 2012 Affordable Housing Developers’ Summit on Nov. 16 at the Fairmont Millennium Park in Chicago.