Demolition set to begin at nearly vacant Sheppard Square - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Demolition set to begin at nearly vacant Sheppard Square

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Like dozens of others, unit 521 P at Sheppard Square is vacant and will soon be torn down. Like dozens of others, unit 521 P at Sheppard Square is vacant and will soon be torn down.
Tim Barry Tim Barry
Bonnie Roberson Bonnie Roberson
Vacant properties in Sheppard Square Vacant properties in Sheppard Square

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Sheppard Square housing complex near downtown Louisville is clearing out, with residents one by one leaving the nearly 70-year-old complex.

"We started with 270 families and there are 30 families left," said Tim Barry with the Louisville Metro Housing Authority. "I don't expect we'll have those families there too much longer."

Resident like Bonnie Roberson is one of the few that still remains.

"I've been here 30 years," said Roberson. "You can imagine how much stuff I've got accumulated in 30 years."

Roberson has options for her new home, including other complexes or homes that are listed as Section 8, but she says she'll miss the place she's called home for three decades.

"All my friends are gone," said Roberson. "It's sad."

But officials say happy times are ahead: a $20 million federal "Home 6 Grant" will transform the 16.5 acres into a mix of 24 saleable homes, along with Section 8 apartments.

Makeshift memorials still remain at Sheppard Square, a sign of the tough times at time complex. Officials are optimistic those times will cease when the new development is finished.

"When we re-did Park DuValle crime pretty much stopped.  Same thing with Liberty Green," Barry explained.

Some of the 36 buildings will start to be torn down later this month, and in plenty of time, as thieves are cashing in.

"People stealing copper and metal and turning it in for money," Barry said. "It's a problem."

While two people have been arrested, it's a broken ending for a place that opened to such celebration.

"They were all built as transitional housing primarily for soldiers coming home from World War II and needed housing in a hurry," Barry said.

There's no deadline to have all of the residents out and the Sheppard Square buildings torn down, since they can do it all in phases.

Officials say the only deadline is to have the new development built, which is in the fall of 2016. 

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