LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - More than 500 Louisville households were relocated in a massive revitalization project that aims to reunite West Louisville with downtown.
Phase One of the Beecher Terrace project has already gotten started and will have a major impact on the city’s look when it’s done.
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The contract requires 33 percent of new construction workers be residents of the Beecher Terrace/Russell neighborhood. Among those workers is Timothy Fuqua, a general laborer working with mason crew. He’s also a neighbor and said he’s proud to be a part of the project.
“It’s great being a resident of this area and I knew what it looked like prior,” Fuqua said.
The final days of Beecher Terrace are almost a memory now and Fuqua said it’s for good reason.
“To be able to tear it down and revitalize the area - it’s a beautiful thing," Fuqua said.
Fuqua is also proud to be hired on the construction crew and become part of history that seeks to help bridge West Louisville and downtown. On this day, he’s working on elevator and stair shafts for Phase 1.
“We’ll start the wood framing here in about three or four weeks, you’ll actually see that go up and out,” Alex Hunn, project manager for Messer Construction, explained as he showed us the beginnings of the four story Senior Living Center.
The center will contain mostly one bedroom apartments, paid for by a $29 million federal neighborhood grant.
“Across the street we are demoing the existing buildings right now,” Hunn said.
That demolition is the start of Phase 2, the two and three bedroom family units. Phases 3 and 4 are still in design.
“At the very end of all this we’re talking about 12 city blocks,” Hunn said about the size of the project.
Once all phases of the project are done, Hunn estimated the construction costs alone will be about $100 million.
John Megibben, a Louisvillian and Vice President of Messer Construction, said for years there has been a lot of talk about a major investment on the other side of 9th Street. Megibben said he is glad to help see it through.
“Finally putting that type of energy and focus and frankly dollars in this part of the community,” Megibben said. “It’s going to go a long way into helping transform it.”
“I think it’s been needed big time,” Fuqua added. “And I mean, you know, clean the area up, give everyone the opportunity to have a fresh start.”
Urban Strategies, the company that worked to temporarily relocate Beecher Terrace residents, is now helping Messer hire some of those former neighbors for construction jobs and transportation so they can get back to the job site.
Phase 1 will be ready for seniors to move in by September 2020.