Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The $101 million redevelopment of Louisville's Sheppard Square housing project began on Monday. It's intended to replace older public housing with mixed-use, affordable housing.
The 454 homes in the project will include a mix of single-family dwellings, townhouses, and apartment buildings.
Third District Congressman John Yarmuth said Monday, "I'm just thrilled with everything that has happened here and what this means for the future of our community."
The improvements also affect other landmarks -- Lampton Park will move across Jackson Street and become an extension of the Meyzeek Middle School campus, while remaining open to the public. The former Presbyterian Community Center will expand into community space and housing for elderly and disabled veterans.
The revitalization is part of the HOPE VI initiative that was begun twenty years ago to turn public housing into mixed-income and mixed-use developments while breaking up concentrations of poverty and aiming to revitalize communities.
Two previous Louisville developments, Park DuValle and Liberty Green, have already undergone similar transformations. Officials say they're considered among the most successful such projects in the country and are considered national models.
"Look at it it's nice," says Arric Fennwick, current Liberty Green resident. "You want to live in something this, you know -- a community that people can look at and want to be a part of."
But not everyone is convinced that the same problems won't return. Longtime resident Angela Kelly tells WDRB News, "I think it will be a nice place for someone else, but not me I wouldn't move back."
Construction on Sheppard Square is expected to be completed by December 2015.