The Sheppard Square public housing development is coming down.
The city is using a $22 million Hope VI grant to demolish and redevelop the 16-acre site. When work is complete, the area will host a mixed-income neighborhood. This is the third redevelopment of a barracks-style public housing complex in Louisville.
The other redeveloped neighborhoods are Park Duvalle, which replaced Cotter-Lang development, and Liberty Green, which replaced the Clarksdale development.
Sheppard Square was built in 1943, and fell into disrepair in the following decades. Previously, Metro Housing Director Tim Barry told WFPL the redevelopment is meant to improve neighborhoods and reduce crime:
[Sheppard Square] needs to be replaced and it’s not fit for human habitation from the standpoint of its layout and design. We can do better and we should do better…and I think that concentration of poverty stigmatizes people. I truly do, because it says to them in no uncertain terms because of your economic situation you’re not worthy of better housing. And I think that’s absolutely wrong.
WHAS11 reports that nearby residents are hoping for a reduction in crime in the surrounding Smoketown neighborhood:
“It's still shootings, people do it down the street, it hasn't changed. It's still the same, maybe if they demolish it and do something better with it, it may be a better place,”said [neighbor Angela] Nabber.In a few years, Sheppard Square could look like Liberty Green, a mixed-income neighborhood close to University Hospital.It could be a much quieter neighborhood with tree-lined streets. People biking and walking enjoying themselves.Michael McWhorter's mother lives in Liberty Green. He says there are few reports of violent crime there. When asked if he thought Liberty Green was safe he responded, “Oh yes, most definitely safe.”