Comprehensive neighborhood revitalization including more than 1,000 mixed-income rental and homeownership units in a long-neglected Louisville neighborhood.
The Park DuValle HOPE VI development has transformed Louisville’s most crime-ridden and distressed neighborhood into a safe, attractive, and affordable mixed-income community. The development was constructed on the site of the former Cotter-Lang Homes, which consisted of a row of decrepit institutional buildings surrounding common spaces that had become magnets for criminal activity.
In 1996, The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) was selected as Master Developer for the 125-acre project and managed the development of the site’s new infrastructure. TCB also served as developer for three of the project’s rental phases, developing over 500 rental units with a total development cost of over $65 million.
Working with a wide array of public and private entities, TCB was part of a management team that included the Mayor’s office, housing authority, local HUD office, a private rental developer, private homebuilders, local bankers and a host of other stakeholders. These groups met on a monthly basis to steer the development’s direction and establish the transformation plan. TCB also worked with current and former residents during goal setting and planning, which was exemplified by the Empowerment Zone planning process and the Park DuValle Neighborhood Advisory Council. This community participation promoted resident buy-in and helped ensure the project’s success. TCB also coordinated the development’s marketing initiative and manages over 500 of the site’s rental units.
The Villages at Park DuValle is a model of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization. In addition to multitudinous housing options, the development boasts a Town Center that features healthcare facilities, shopping, dining, laundry services and access to mass transit. Other notable amenities include an on-site elementary school, community center and two large parks with an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Residents are offered a wide variety of services, including neighborhood-based employment and homeownership workshops.
TCB employed a number of innovations during the development of Park DuValle. A wide range of housing types were used, which attracted moderate income residents to the neighborhood and increased housing options for lower-income residents, including homeownership opportunities. Senior housing was placed around the development’s Town Center, allowing seniors easier access to retail locations. To accommodate the infrastructure needs of an inner-city development, TCB worked with Louisville Gas & Electric to modify easement requirements. All utilities were also placed underground and in the rear of the units, enhancing curb appeal and facilitating marketing efforts.
The design of the housing units was of particular importance. The exterior design of homes and apartments incorporates “defensible space” features, such as raised porches and large windows, that promote safety and security. Rental units are designed to mesh with homeownership units and the success of the project’s rental phases led to early home sales. These early sales increased diversification and led to both strong home sales and to the construction of larger, more ambitious homes.
"…we now have people on a waiting list. That's more than a milestone. It's a miracle"
—Former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson