Nearly $30 million grant to help improve Russell neighborhood

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Monday, police were at the scene of a shooting at Beecher Terrace.

It's a place LMPD has called a "hot spot" for violence.

A grant worth nearly $30 million may finally change that, making it a safer place for families who live there.

Children at the Baxter Center in Louisville's Russell neighborhood held a check for $29.5 million. It's part of Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with much of the focus on the Beecher Terrace apartments and their revitalization.

"Today's announcement is a major step to further ensure that west Louisville shares in the renaissance of our city," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Beecher Terrace has often been the scene of violent crimes and murders, and in a move similar to Liberty Green, will eventually be transformed into 640 mixed-use residential units complete with a park and sports fields.

Some of the areas the grant will help improve are education, outcomes of students, increased safety and replace distressed public and assisted housing. "It's a real show of support and confidence in our city and our housing authority and Metro Government and certainly the residents of Russell, as well, so this is a huge day for our city," said Mayor Fischer.

However, some residents say while they look forward to the improvements, they're hesitant to believe the redevelopment will completely get rid of the area's crime. "A lot of things and people who get hurt up here don't live up here. In turn it affects our kids," said Beecher Terrace resident Lamika Jordan.

Residents will be moved to other areas of the city, while the revitalization takes place.

Mayor Fischer says it's not only the physical appearance of the neighborhood that will change, but also people's perceptions of it. "People often talk about 9th Street as a divide. This investment right here will create a bridge of hope and opportunity for all of the city to move west, so we are very excited about it."

As previously mentioned, LMPD responded to a shooting on Monday night at Beecher Terrace.

A call about the shooting was received shortly after the news conference about the $29 million grant.

The victim was just grazed by a bullet, and is expected to recover.

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