Last family moves out of Foote Homes housing project before demolition

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The City of Memphis' multi-million dollar South City redevelopment project timeline is experiencing delays and challenges.

"This one was probably one of the more difficult development projects that the agency has encountered," Marcia Lewis, director of the Memphis Housing Authority, said.

Lewis said the agency had trouble moving longtime public housing residents out and ran into a roadblock when crews found chemicals on site that could cause cancer.

"There were contaminates in the soil and some of those contaminates had the ability to be carcinogenic," she said.

The contaminates are only located in the undisturbed soil, according to MHA.

The agency said people who lived there did not experience a major threat, and demolition was delayed until all of the residents left.

"There's no danger to anyone outside of the place where the soil is," Lewis told WREG.

The next step is for construction crews to secure the site, test the soil, and check the buildings for asbestos.

Contractors plan to demolish the east side of Foote Homes in March or early April.

They will tear down the west side of the property in June.