The opening of two new 88-unit apartment complexes in the old location of the Bluegrass-Aspendale public housing complex should be a community celebration.
It is a key to the revitalization of downtown's east end, it puts more affordable housing on the market and it is part of an encouraging public-private partnership.
The Lexington Housing Authority has leveraged a $20 million federal housing grant, local government road improvements and a new neighborhood school to build appealing projects with enough density, along with balconies and porches, befitting the urban environment.
Designing separate complexes with different designs and materials makes the area between Third and Seventh Streets more inviting and not as intimidating as monstrous projects now being built near downtown to appeal to college students.
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Grand Oaks and Bridlewood Place complexes are open to anyone with an income under $50,325, Fayette County's median household income level. Rent is set at 30 percent of income; renters must be either working or in school.
As part of the same redevelopment project, eight local builders are constructing homes on 102 lots, 17 homes have been purchased and 37 are now under contract.
The homes, ranging from $80,000 to $120,000, are open to anyone willing to stay in them for five years; those under the income limit can get down payment assistance.
Unfortunately, most of the model homes pale in comparison to the apartments. Too many are suburban-style vinyl boxes, rather than townhouses that would add density or designs with brick or stone facades.
Considering that builders got the land for half price, they should be able to step up the curb appeal.
Tours of the area and a street fair will go from today through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dedication will be 10 a.m. Friday at 720 East Sixth Street.