COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Booker T. Washington apartments of Columbus will soon be a thing of the past. By this time next year, the housing authority plans to flatten the nearly 400 unit complex. Newsleader 9's Dante Renzulli has reaction from residents.
It's been talked about for a long time, but now it looks like we may see some action very soon. The name will stay the same, but the look of the new Booker T. Washington apartments will change dramatically.
The housing authority plans to replace the buildings with brand new structures that will hold about half as many apartments. Residents' reactions were mixed. Some were glad to hear that the neighborhood will get a facelift, while others lamented that they will miss the buildings where they grew up.
The city's plan is to improve the conditions of the public housing with new facilities and more space dedicated to retail and commercial businesses. Space will be limited, so current residents will be given a few options. If they don't move in to the new buildings, they can go to a different public housing complex, or they'll get a voucher to live in a comparably priced private residence on the city's tab.
After the current buildings are brought down in a year's time, the city will begin construction on the new apartments, which they expect to complete by the end of 2016.
The project was originally envisioned over ten years ago, and construction has stalled several times as community leaders battled out the specifics of the plan. Now it looks like the arguments are finally over and action is being taken to revitalize this prominent section of the city.