Louisville Magazine

MAR 2017

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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thnstudy.com LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.17 103 What are the first visible changes people will see? Aside from the senior housing mentioned earlier, beautification will pop up first. LMHA received a $1 million "action grant" from HUD (that was matched with $375,000 from the city) that must go toward immediate, visible change. One focus will be the 14th Street railroad overpass from Market to Broadway. Currently, the city is seeking artists and muralists to spruce it up. Another goal is to bring a water feature to Sheppard Park and design attractive, unconventional bus stops in the area. Who will return to the newly developed housing where Beecher is now? Beecher has 758 units. LMHA will replace those public-housing units, but many will be scattered throughout the city and not on-site. Built in six phases over the next seven years, the new 640 Beecher units will break down this way: 20 homeownership units, 172 market-rate units, 132 units for families making up to $53,600 per year and 316 units for very low-income families (meaning a family of four making $33,500 or less annually; Beecher's current median household income is $9,439). LMHA and most housing authorities across the country preserve a percentage of new units for low- income households. This allows original residents the chance to return, and since HUD requires that every demolished public-housing unit be replaced, it makes sense to start on land LMHA already owns. Expect the new Beecher Terrace to have more restrictions, like a no-smoking policy. Those who fill out rental applications will probably have to clear a criminal-background check. Any unknowns or concerns? A 2013 study of Choice Neighborhoods by the Urban Institute, titled "A Brief Look at the Early Implementation of Choice Neighborhoods," showed that neighborhoods with a lot of momentum before the awarded CNI grant had the most dramatic and efficient revitalizations. For instance, the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans received its CNI grant in 2011. But a lot of attention and money had already pumped into the neighborhood after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In Louisville's Choice application, the Walmart at 18th and Broadway and the $58 million Food Port were both cited as evidence that Russell was on the upswing. Both projects have since been abandoned. The city's response? Fear not. "We've been bombarded with a lot of entrepreneurs and small businesses that have heard about the synergy in Russell who want to find a space," Dunlap says. "The issue is with long-term vacancy; it's not like you have property owners standing there ready to list their property, ready for people to move in. That's why the city's vacant-property programs are so important to make those connections." Any chance that changes in Washington, D.C., could make the whole thing just disappear? The good news is, the money for Louisville's grant has already been approved and appropriated by Congress. Still, Barry says, "Whenever there is a change in administration there's always concerns — not of it being defunded, but the process slows a bit." For example: The formal grant agreement hasn't been signed yet because, as of mid-February, Ben Carson hadn't been sworn in as HUD secretary. Therefore, the next step — a request to make the first of seven withdrawals on the $29.5 million — will also be delayed. Any cool stuff to look forward to? The new Beecher Terrace site will include a fitness center, swimming pool and revamped community center. A new neighborhood park located at Beecher Terrace's western edge will have basketball courts, playing fields and may be named after Muhammad Ali. Choice on the Horizon Continued from page 63

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