Thursday December 9, 2004
Mayor Jerry Abramson, Congresswoman Anne Northup and other dignitaries broke ground today for the first phase of construction for the Clarksdale HOPE VI revitalization.
“This is our second opportunity in Louisville to completely reinvent a neighborhood and to create an environment that seeks and encourages diversity,” Abramson said. “We have shown the world how a successful HOPE VI grant can work at Park DuValle, and we are ready to prove we can do it again.”
Louisville received two $20 million HOPE VI grants for the Clarksdale redevelopment from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Northup was instrumental in securing the grants.
“This groundbreaking marks the beginning of a long-overdue improvement in the quality of life for Clarksdale residents, and will be a tremendous boost to the overall downtown area. Clarksdale now joins the rest of downtown as a new center of growth and activity in Louisville,” Northup said. “I am pleased to have helped secure this important federal grant.”
Located on approximately 21 acres (4.5 city blocks), the first phase of the revitalization will include both homeownership and rental opportunities. Bounded by Clay, Jefferson, Liberty and Jackson Streets, Phase I has a budget of $136,500,000. The new mixed-income community will have a variety of housing types including single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, apartments and condominiums. The Community Builders, Inc., will partner with LMHA as the on-site developer for the revitalization effort.
The Louisville Metro Housing Authority has provided relocation assistance to each of the 728 families that lived in Clarksdale. The redevelopment will replace each affordable housing unit in Clarksdale – either within the new neighborhood or elsewhere in the community.
The site has been designed with a focus on quality and value of housing, as a new downtown neighborhood.
The design also integrates Active Living, a community-wide, health-awareness program, with pedestrian-safety features and attractive destination planning, such as small parks throughout the redeveloped area. The site’s design also encourages a level of density that will contribute to the vibrancy of the neighborhood. “We expect the area to attract additional services and amenities due to the increase in pedestrian traffic and number of residents nearby,” Abramson said.
HOPE VI began in 1992, as an effort to eradicate severely distressed public housing. Revitalization focuses on physical improvements, management improvements and social and community services.
Scheduled for completion within five years, the Clarksdale HOPE VI will ultimately result in about a $190 million investment through a public-private partnership to build more than 180 homes for people to buy and 530 apartments for rent in the new mixed-income community.