In June 2011, Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Mayor Greg Fischer, Congressman John Yarmuth and other local officials attended a press conference to announce the HOPE VI grant award for Sheppard Square. The $22 million grant from HUD will allow LMHA to begin replacing the 70-year old complex, located in the heart of Smoketown, with new energy-efficient mixed-income housing. The project is modeled on LMHA's two award winning HOPE VI sites – Villages of Park DuValle in West Louisville and Liberty Green in nearby Downtown Louisville.
The revitalization plans for the new Sheppard Square community were decades in the making, and involved an extensive collaborative process with neighborhood residents and community stakeholders, along with Louisville Metro Government, Jefferson County Public Schools, the Presbyterian Community Center and numerous other HOPE VI partners. Urban Design Associates created the master site plan and conceptual unit plans which build on the historic character of the Smoketown neighborhood. Plans call for razing all 326 existing Sheppard Square units and replacing them with a combination of on-site and off-site subsidized and market-rate apartments and homes.
On-site redevelopment will include homeownership opportunities, along with a variety of rental choices including semi-detached and row townhouses, and multi-family apartment buildings. All building types will be designed to blend seamlessly into the existing streetscape. Off-site development includes apartments for single-parent students at the Downtown Scholar House, as well as scattered-site public housing rental homes. All new housing units will meet or exceed both EnergyStar standards and Green Enterprise rating criteria, making them LMHA's most energy and resource-efficient properties to date.
As part of the Sheppard Square revitalization, the former Presbyterian Community Center will be transformed into housing for the elderly and disabled. The rehabilitation of this beloved historic property will also include 13,900 square feet of community space on its main level.
Sheppard Square's existing street pattern isolates residents from surrounding neighborhoods. Therefore, reconfiguring the site to where people, resources and vehicles can flow in and out of the Smoketown neighborhood is another major goal of the HOPE VI revitalization plan. To facilitate this process, a barricaded intersection at Hancock and Lampton Streets will be reopened, and the Boxing Glove sculpture, by renowned artist Ed Hamilton, that is currently located at the center of the blocked intersection, will be relocated to a new park-like "Green" parallel to Hancock Street. Two new streets will also be added to help transform the area into a transit-oriented, yet pedestrian-friendly community.
New housing opportunities will be enhanced by a wide array of community and supportive services (CSS) for Sheppard Square households. Individualized needs assessments and outcome-focused case management services will be provided by LMHA's highly skilled case managers. New health-based initiatives, results-oriented early childhood care, educational programs and parental supports will also be made available to residents. Existing Sheppard Square households will also be given extensive relocation benefits and support from LMHA's experienced relocation staff, as well as an opportunity to move back into newly created HOPE VI units.
In sum, this HOPE VI grant will provide more than 450 new homes for local families, as well as quality job and learning opportunities and CSS services for Sheppard Square households. To accomplish this ambitious Revitalization Plan, HOPE VI funds will be leveraged with more than $90 million in physical development commitments and $4.2 million in community and supportive service.
Update: Sheppard Square is nearing completion. The Old Presbyterian Center, with 32 units, will be completed this winter. The home ownership component should begin construction this spring. For more information regarding homeownership opportunities at Sheppard Square, please contact Ray Brewer at (502) 569-6314. For a copy of the homeownership brochure - Click Here.