Senior and veterans living added to Hope VI project at Sheppard - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Senior and veterans living added to Hope VI project at Sheppard Square

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A former public housing complex will soon be home to dozens of senior citizens and veterans as a new Hope VI project is underway at Sheppard Square.

It is exciting news for people who have already moved into the area.

"It's lovely, it's spacious, it's roomy and I'll tell you, I'm enjoying it to the utmost," said Terri Phoenix, Sheppard Square neighbor.

Phoenix is one of the first to move into the new and improved Sheppard Square in Smoketown and it was a dream come true.

"Well, I wanted to come home. I was born and raised here in 1953," Phoenix said.

For the last year, we've shown you the progress as crews work to convert the former housing complex into mixed-income living and now there's the new element being added.

"We've owned the building for a while," said Tim Barry, Executive Director Metro Housing Authority.

Now the original Presbyterian Community Center, built in 1929, is being added to the project.

"In fact, we just awarded the contract, in the end we will have 32 apartments and community space, we'll put an addition on the building," Barry said.

Once all of that is done, the building will be ready for its new tenants.

"But that doesn't mean that others can't apply but that has always been our thought that the units that we create in this building should somehow be earmarked as best we can for seniors and veterans," he said. 

Right now, the building is old and dilapidated, but perhaps some of the paintings on the walls help tell the story of its rich history and why it's being rehabbed instead of torn down.

"If the walls could talk," Barry said.

Barry said if the walls could talk they'd tell you about a connection to The Greatest.

"From what I understand and have been told that, you know, Muhammad Ali would train here from time to time and was a somewhat frequent visitor to the Smoketown Sheppard Square area," said Barry.

Terri Phoenix remembers those days and is excited about the building's future.

"I am a senior myself and I love all veterans. I think they deserve the utmost respect," said Phoenix.

This latest phase of the project is scheduled to be finished by the end of the year and it will take about 18 months to renovate the Presbyterian community center.

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