Either as a part of that federal block grant investment program or as a separate project altogether,
The proposed 2020-25 Consolidated Plan will outline a Northwest Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area wherein, Shelton said the city will either give or sell a developer the 4-acre plot of land it owns on
That center is expected to be a keystone in the neighborhood development program.
"I want it to be a community building," Shelton said. "I don't want it to be it locked into only offering senior services. In that section of town, there is a lack of different services available. There's a lack of grocery stores and fresh markets. There are little mom and pop shops there, but I think if we can support that backbone a little bit better than that area will grow up. It will not only be landlocked to that footprint, but there are several buildings around that area that could be utilized for maybe a barbershop or whatever the senior citizen center wants to do. I've encouraged them to look for partnerships in the community to help make it a focal point of community development."
Shelton said she doesn't envision a similar outcome in the Northwest strategy area. For one thing, the city owns the Munday Center property and can choose a developer with whom it wishes to negotiate. Plus, building a new senior center has been a long, sought-after goal. The energy to see it come to fruition is there, she said.
"It's going to happen one way or another, but it's going to have to take shape as we go along," Shelton said. "We want to guide (the senior center board) and make sure they feel comfortable with what's going on. We do own the property, but the more brains we have at the table is better."
That's music to
But the center's need for a new building goes back nearly 12 years, she said, as the region's senior citizen population grew exponentially and utility costs in the old schoolhouse grew just as fast.
"It's hope," Peveler said, describing the plan. "It's hope that we'll be able to realize the future. I can't even express how many emotions have been tied to the prospect of a new facility. For so many seniors, this is just a dream come true, because I can't tell you how many of them have said, 'I sure hope I live long enough to see it.' This plan that's taking shape -- it's so exciting. It's so overwhelming.
She said she is excited to use a new space as a center for all, not just senior citizens. Already, she said, her staff have begun to develop multigenerational curricula that could appeal to younger generations. She envisions a cohesive center, she said, in which people of all ages and from all walks of life can learn from and enjoy each other.
That's particularly important to the city, officials say, as they generate a plan to put the center back on the tax rolls, especially around several public housing facilities already in place.
In fact, Shelton said, identifying the northwest portion of
By coupling the historic building and
A request for qualifications on that project will be issued later this year.
Other projects that will likely be sought in the Northwest Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area include existing homeowner exterior rehabilitation and the demolition of blighted and abandoned properties. By working with the city's
All of these projects will require city commission approval. They will be presented in Shelton's consolidated plan later this year.
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