LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Big changes are underway for a Lafayette neighborhood. Aforeclosed apartment complex that the city considered a problemarea is being torn down.
Mayor Tony Roswarski said the city stepped in to purchase theBridgeway apartment complex in hopes of turning this neighborhoodaround. A big step in getting that done started Thursday.
Excavators armed with demolition buckets made quick work of oneof the buildings at the former Bridgeway apartment complex. Peoplewere thrilled to hear the glass breaking and boards snapping.
Jerri Parks has lived in the Glen Acres Neighborhood for 29years. Parks is a member of the leadership team of the newlyorganized Glen Acres Neighborhood Association.
"It's amazing how quickly its come down," Parks said.
People who have lived near the former subsidized housing sitehave been waiting for this day. Tristan Kirby moved into theneighborhood three years ago.
"Since March we were told the demolition was coming," saidTristan Kirby. "The demolition kept getting pushed off. Now it isreally happening. I had to see it for myself."
"We are thrilled to see progress," said Parks. "We just wantedto see it come down. It has been the entrance to our neighborhoodfor far too long."
Residents aren't the only ones pleased. City officials woregreen to mark the beginning of the definition and highlight theenvironmentally sound practices they said are being employed in thedemolition and construction.
Some of the measures the city is proud of include
- Some cabinets and appliances from the old complex will be re-used by Habitat for Humanity
- About 150,000 square feet of concrete will be crushed and re-used as backfill during construction
- About 20,000 square feet of asphalt will be recycled
- Some metal, wood, and plastics will also be re-used in the new construction
- The new rental units will be Energy Star-certified, and use efficient heating and air conditioning, as well as Energy Star-certified appliances.
Residents hope the work is a big step in bringing back pride totheir neighborhood.
"I like to walk my dogs. I had a specific route because I didn'tfeel safe in other areas," said Kirby. "But, now I feel safer andwith the association everyone is getting to know theirneighbors."
The 19-acre site is being cleared for Chatham Square. Theproject includes 92 apartment units and several single familyhomes.
Developer David Brint of Brinshore Development LLC is hopingwhat's planned will compliment the neighborhood.
"There will be a great deal of open space," said Brint. "Therewill be community garden, there will be a community center, wherepeople can meet, interact and have a computer center."
The demolition crew is not sure how long it will take to clearthe site. But, Brint said construction should start constructionnext year. He said the first phase of construction is scheduled tobe complete by the end of 2011 and the second phase should becomplete by the end of 2012.
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