LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The new phase of a brand new neighborhood in Louisville just opened recently. For people who call the new area home, it means so much more than a new place to live.
What You Need To Know
- Beecher Terrace was originally built in 1939, but was demolished years ago
- Beecher Terrace is located in Louisville’s Russell neighborhood on the West End
- The newest redevelopment is worth about $178 million, according to Louisville Metro Housing Authority
- LMHA said Phase 3 is worth about $49 million
Inside Shayphon Smith’s townhome, you’ll find energy, happiness and boundless love.
“It’s a lot of things that’s beneficial to me. I feel safe here. I love that the cameras… everything is different and upgraded. It’s a breath of fresh air. I love it.” Smith said as she looked around her family’s living room with a smile.
A single mother of 3, she moved her family to the Beecher Terrace apartment community in Dec. 2021. Her family moved into the brand new phase 3 of the complex, which is now entirely open. Words don’t adequately describe how much this new home means to her.
“I’m grateful,” Smith said as tears fell down her face. “It’s been a life-changing experience for me and my kids. Being homeless in the past, due to domestic violence and stuff.
“I’m just grateful. I’m really grateful.”
Built in 1939 in the Louisville’s Russell neighborhood, the original complex was demolished years ago. At the time, existing residents were moved. In terms of construction costs, the Louisville Metro Housing Authority said the whole redevelopment is worth about $178 million. Phase 3 is worth about $49 million alone.
For phase 3, the LMHA and their Vision Russell partners used almost $30 million of a Federal Choice Neighborhoods initiative grant received in 2016. More money for phase 3 came from LMHA capital funds, low-income housing tax credit equity and a Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgage.
“It is now a mixed-income community where all people have a chance to thrive and enjoy updated amenities. Also, having access to downtown [Louisville] and all things that come with being in this particular location,” said Talonda Holland, the senior project manager for Urban Strategies, Inc. “What also stands out about Beecher Terrace, that’s different from other housing communities, is that they have the component of supportive services. So, whenever things are happening, impacting families, they have someone to call.”
It’s a community that is needed, Holland said.
“This work and this community is needed because it provides opportunities for families to reach those thriving places they want to be,” Holland explained.
You’ll find amenities like a pool, a fitness center and a large community room. The community even has a little library where every resident gets free brand new books.
Plus, there’s a dedicated staff on-site to help residents with things they need. For example, if they’re falling behind on rent, need help finding a job or the right school, there’s a computer lab.
There are even family support specialists, and an outreach specialist to support all families.
“The choice neighborhood grant had that vision to be able to see that providing this type of access and support is really what the families need to help them move to whatever places they want to be in life,” Holland said. “Many of these projects happened before, but it was a lot of just changing bricks and mortar. You can’t really change a neighborhood without investing in its people.”
That investment is already paying dividends for people like Smith.
“With all the help and support that I have here, that’s what brings me the peace and security that I need. I’m able to come home and pray about it. If I feel alone, I can call anyone.” Smith explained with a smile. “The people from across the street. I’ve had people come over and pray with me, like yeah.”
This mother of 3 has a village now, and a place where her family can put down roots… and grow.
The 4th and final phase of Beecher Terrace redevelopment will start in early 2023 and will include 210 apartments.
Louisville’s Metro Housing Authority said all phase 3 units should be available for lease by Aug. 31, 2022.