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Contractors Prepare Smoketown's Sheppard Square for Demolition

Louisville city officials say the final Sheppard Square resident has been relocated and contractors are preparing the site for demolition.The Sheppard Square development is a public housing complex that is being demolished to make room for a mixed-income development with new energy efficient housing that will still serve families on public assistance. Some recent residents were relocated from Clarksdale Public Housing, which was demolished to make way for Liberty Green, another mixed-use development.The new 16-acre Sheppard Square site will attempt to maintain the character of the Smoketown neighborhood, said Tim Barry, executive director of the Louisville Metro Housing Authority.“What you will see coming out of the ground will be something that is architecturally consistent for what is already in Smoketown," he said.The redevelopment of Sheppard Square has been anticipated since the city received a $22 million federal grant for the work last year. The HOPE VI grant helped give tax breaks for investors, which will split the $100 million cost with the city, said Barry.The project will be completed in phases with the next six to eight months spent on building the development’s foundation. Two contractors won bids to begin redevelopment and another bid is expected to go out in the next few weeks for another phase of the project, Barry said.When finished, the plan will offer competitive living options, he said.“There will be a large number of units set aside for low income families and former Sheppard residents will get first crack at those units," Barry said.Project construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2015.

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