Updated: Monday, 14 Dec 2009, 4:30 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 01 Oct 2009, 4:30 PM EDT
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Big changes are underway for a Lafayette neighborhood. A foreclosed apartment complex that the city considered a problem area is being torn down.
Mayor Tony Roswarski said the city stepped in to purchase the Bridgeway apartment complex in hopes of turning this neighborhood around. A big step in getting that done started Thursday.
Excavators armed with demolition buckets made quick work of one
of the buildings at the former Bridgeway apartment complex. People
were thrilled to hear the glass breaking and boards snapping.
Jerri Parks has lived in the Glen Acres Neighborhood for 29 years. Parks is a member of the leadership team of the newly organized Glen Acres Neighborhood Association.
"It's amazing how quickly its come down," Parks said.
People who have lived near the former subsidized housing site have been waiting for this day. Tristan Kirby moved into the neighborhood three years ago.
"Since March we were told the demolition was coming," said Tristan Kirby. "The demolition kept getting pushed off. Now it is really happening. I had to see it for myself."
"We are thrilled to see progress," said Parks. "We just wanted to see it come down. It has been the entrance to our neighborhood for far too long."
Residents aren't the only ones pleased. City officials wore green to mark the beginning of the definition and highlight the environmentally sound practices they said are being employed in the demolition and construction.
Some of the measures the city is proud of include
Residents hope the work is a big step in bringing back pride to their neighborhood.
"I like to walk my dogs. I had a specific route because I didn't feel safe in other areas," said Kirby. "But, now I feel safer and with the association everyone is getting to know their neighbors."
The 19-acre site is being cleared for Chatham Square. The project includes 92 apartment units and several single family homes.
Developer David Brint of Brinshore Development LLC is hoping what's planned will compliment the neighborhood.
"There will be a great deal of open space," said Brint. "There will be community garden, there will be a community center, where people can meet, interact and have a computer center."
The demolition crew is not sure how long it will take to clear
the site. But, Brint said construction should start construction
next year. He said the first phase of construction is scheduled to
be complete by the end of 2011 and the second phase should be
complete by the end of 2012.