A $15.5 million renovation to the Lexington Housing Authority's Pimlico Apartments — where a mass relocation occurred last summer — should be finished in about two years, executive director Austin Simms said Wednesday.
Simms said changes inside and out will make the 11-building complex a much more desirable place to live.
In terms of aesthetics and comfort, "we will certainly have a better product to offer than was there before," said Barry Holmes, the chief operating officer for the Housing Authority.
Last summer, about 165 families moved from the 206-unit public apartment complex in advance of the renovation. All but 10 to 20 families took a federal voucher that allowed them to rent from a private landlord.
Those families who chose to move to another public housing complex will be given priority if they want to move back to the Centre Parkway site, Simms said. A waiting list will be started for others who want to move there, he said.
The buildings, near Tates Creek Road in southeast Lexington, were built in the late 1970s. The renovation began March 1.
The new apartments will be energy efficient. The Housing Authority pays water and sewage bills, but residents pay gas and electricity bills, so energy efficiency is important, Holmes said.
Before, all the brick buildings essentially looked the same. The refurbished units will have some similarities, but there will be differences in the facades.
"Building 1 won't look like building 11 or any of the others in between," Holmes said. There will be continuity, but it won't be "cookie cutter."
The project involves multiple funding sources in addition to the Lexington Housing Authority. Those sources include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Kentucky Housing Corp., a self-supporting, public corporation of the state administratively attached to the Finance and Administration Cabinet.
The Housing Authority will hold an event April 28 to provide more details about the project.
"It's going to be a shot in the arm for our community," Simms said.