LaFayette getting a housing makeover

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LAFAYETTE, Georgia (WDEF) – The city of Lafayette is showing a new face because of a renewed effort to clear blighted neighborhoods and create new housing opportunities.

It’s part of a long-range plan for the future…and city officials say they’ve already landed a major player.

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The northwest corner of Lafayette has been known as a blighted area for many years.

Many of the homes were run-down…and some had been abandoned. Many have since been torn down by their owners.

City leaders had wanted to do something like that, but money for that was limited.

Then along come a developer called REA ventures Group.

“They had a choice of some of the areas they wanted to develop, but they caught our vision in terms of this particular part of town where there was a lot more lots that were empty…and us wanting to bring a catalyst to a part of town that needs the most development. They caught that vision and agreed to put this 10.8 million dollar development in that area.”

Kevin Dunn is Lafayette’s Planning Director and local expert on economic development. He’s been working with Mayor Andy Arnold and city council and now with the developer.

Dunn adds “some people would look at that and say ‘why would anybody’.. that’s a pretty rough looking neighborhood… but if we don’t start somewhere we don’t get it developed ..we don’t win.”

The move to build 60 units of new housing over a wide area is a private venture by REA.

“We anticipate this particular 10.8 million dollar development will be primarily people that are in the workforce…either in industry or maybe in the medical industry and so on.”

Dunn says the agreement with REA Ventures fits the long-range plan that city leaders have recently come up with.

The goal is not only urban renewal, but more people moving there…. and more jobs.

Kevin Dunn says the city will pay for a new sewer line and sidewalks in northwest Lafayette.

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