Weather-related closings

Whitehaven apartment complex gets $20 million for revitalization project

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — All systems are go for a $20 million revitalization of a Whitehaven apartment complex that's been more than a year in the making.

The major remodeling phase will start Oct. 1 for the aging Highland Creek Apartments. Right now the Whitehaven complex looks outdated, many windows are boarded up and only 40 people live on the property that has 440 units.

"That's wonderful to me, I want to see that happened and I'll be here," said resident Johnny Parks.

Parks has lived here for 13 years and says he's looking forward to basically having a brand-new place.

"This is the place to be 'cause it's quiet and peaceful and if something is wrong they will come out and fix it," said Parks.

During a news conference Monday,  city leaders and state lawmakers announced where the $20 million came from.

"The city's portion is a tax incentive, which means the value of the property will increase but their taxes will not increase to the full level," said Mayor Jim Strickland. "They'll get a reduction for a period of years and after those years they'll pay the full amount."

The city's tax incentive, the state's credit and private investment make it work, he said.

The illustrations show what residents can expect: A laundromat, a fitness center, a daycare center, energy-efficient appliances and security cameras.

"We need to not only have quality affordable housing as they're promising but we also need it to be safe as well," said District 3 City Councilwoman Patrice Robinson.

Robinson said the 40 residents will stay during the construction and will be moved as units are completed.

"I imagine it looking like it did when it was new, when I had friends that lived here back in the early '70s and '80s, this was the place to be," said Robinson. "So now it's going to be a new community where we have families."

Strickland said this is the first of many revitalization projects, and city leaders hope to bring more apartments back to life throughout the city.