Partnership Spark Louisville Neighborhood's Revitalization

Lisa J. Locke
DuValle
The end result of Park DuValle's revitalization will be a diverse neighborhood, with families of mixed incomes and more than 1,000 traditional-style homes.
Is it possible to turn a neighborhood of blight, poverty, crime and despair into one of virtue, optimism and splendor? This is exactly what is happening in the Park DuValle community in western Louisville.

The Park DuValle neighborhood is the former site of 1,100 barracks-style public housing units known as Lang and Cotter Homes. In 1996, due to a public/private-sector partnership, the public housing units were demolished to make way for a community based on the "new urbanism" concept. Some of the principles of "new urbanism" include: a return to traditional neighborhoods, with homes, schools and a town center within minutes' walking distance; mixed-income housing; narrow, tree-lined streets; and a self-governing neighborhood organization.

Partnerships have been key to the success of the Park DuValle Revitalization Project. The idea for the project grew from a vision of the Empowerment Zone Community Board and the Park DuValle Neighborhood Advisory Council. Their vision was "a return to neighborhoods ... and a demise of the massive, concentrated public housing of the 1950s that have become warehouses for families entrapped in poverty."

house
The vision of groups involved in the Park DuValle project includes "a return to neighborhoods … and a demise of the massive, concentrated public housing of the 1950s."

With better communities in mind, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Housing Authority of Louisville, the City of Louisville and concerned residents came together and developed a plan for a $180 million mixed-income neighborhood. Some of the financing for the project includes: $31.4 million from regular public housing monies, $20 million from HOPE VI and $13 million from the Community Development Block Grant Fund. In addition, other financial partners made large tax credit investments in support of the revitalization initiative.

The revitalization project is slated to develop over several phases, which include mixed-income rental units, single-family homes, a senior citizen complex, a town center and a health center. The end result will be a diverse neighborhood, with families of mixed incomes and over 1,000 traditional-style homes. Thanks to the involvement of good developers, willing financial institutions and supportive local government, Park DuValle is now a neighborhood of new possibilities.

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