The goal of the Park DuValle Revitalization was to create a mixed
income community of more than 1,000 new homes, townhouses and apartments.
Components of the Park DuValle Revitalization plan:
Urban design, based on
the principles of New Urbanism, which creates a coherent, pedestrian-friendly
neighborhood with homes that are closely integrated with recreation,
retail and civic spaces. Homes with yards and porches encourage a
sense of community and responsibility. Neighborhood residents, no
matter their income level, will have access to the goods and services
that make a neighborhood attractive.
opportunities for families of all income levels.
in goal setting and planning, as exemplified by the Empowerment
Zone planning process and the Park DuValle Neighborhood Advisory
A community building
strategy that integrates social services targeted to the public
housing population as well as to residents of the mixed-income
A partnership between
the Louisville Metro Housing Authority (LMHA) and the City of
Louisville in which public housing families are fully supported
and complemented by City efforts to build a new neighborhood
that appeals to those with housing choices.
A partnership between
the Louisville Metro Housing Authority (LMHA) and private developers
that maximizes the expertise and entrepreneurship of the private
sector to produce and manage a quality product.
The effective leveraging
of resources that combines federal funds with private debt and
equity to make the neighborhood’s recovery feasible.
A collaboration with
the Louisville Community Development Bank, to leverage innovative
business incubation and entrepreneurship.
The Park DuValle Revitalization Plan grew from Louisville’s Empowerment
Zone Planning Process. The vision of the Empowerment Zone Community Board
was “a return to neighborhoods...and a demise of the massive, concentrated
public housing of the 1950s that have become warehouses for families
entrapped in poverty.” Cotter and Lang residents and neighborhood residents
had input into the plan through the Park DuValle Neighborhood Advisory
Council (PDNAC) which was formed in June 1994.
The neighborhood is surrounded
by stable neighborhoods with high levels of homeownership. The proximity
of this deteriorated community to healthy, stable communities offers
a unique opportunity. Park DuValle, one of Louisville’s inner
city neighborhoods, has the potential for the realization of a successful
neighborhood redevelopment plan. The goal of the plan is to increase
the number of affordable housing units, continue to serve public
housing eligible families while decreasing the concentration of families
at the lowest levels of income and create a new mixed-income rental
and homeownership community which will economically, physically,
and socially integrate the new Park DuValle neighborhood with the
In 1993, following its comprehensive plan for modernization, the Housing
Authority of Louisville (HAL) began planning for the rehabilitation
of Cotter Homes through its Comprehensive Grant program. As a result
of several changes in the public housing program at the congressional
and federal level, public housing authorities were given increased
flexibility in the use of their capital grant funds, and for the first
time, HUD became open to proposals to demolish public housing units
as a means of addressing the revitalization needs of very distressed
public housing projects on a national basis.
In the fall of 1994, HAL
changed its planning process for Cotter Homes and commissioned consultants
in real estate, community, and economic development to evaluate
the potential for new market rate and affordable housing in the area
presently occupied by not only the Cotter Homes site but also the
adjacent Lang Homes development. The study was intended to provide
input into the overall development planning process for the residential
development envisioned for the Park DuValle neighborhood.
The underlying assumption
to the market study was that Cotter and Lang Homes and other perceived
negative elements of the neighborhood, would be significantly changed
through the demolition of the existing housing developments and the
subsequent redevelopment of the area into a high quality, economically
integrated community. The study documented through both survey and
focus group investigations that such a proposal could be a successful
The revitalization was financed by public housing resources, investor capital from the sale of Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds provided by the City of Louisville.
HAL was awarded $31.4 million
in housing development funds for this project. In addition, in October,
1996, a $20 million HOPE VI grant was awarded to HAL by HUD, for
use in the Park DuValle project. HAL also brought another $14.8 million
of previously approved development funds and provided $9.0 million
of comprehensive grant funds for demolition, resident relocation
and site preparation costs. The City of Louisville committed to support
the project with approximately $10.0 million in infrastructure improvements
over the build-out of the plan.
The site master plan began with a survey of the current residents of Cotter and Lang Homes to obtain feedback on the shortcomings of their existing units and was further influenced by a subsequent market study. Residents expressed dissatisfaction with room sizes, the lack of dining areas, study spaces for children, front and back doors and definable exterior space.
With these comments in
hand, the architects were charged with creating a community that
did not look like “cookie cutter” apartments. Instead, their designs replicate the scale of the surrounding residential community resulting in a mixture of housing types - single-family homes, duplexes and small townhouse multi-family structures.
Master planning continued
with not only public housing residents, but neighborhood service
providers, retailers, police, clergy and others in an informal group
called the Park DuValle Neighborhood Advisory Council (PDNAC).