Wednesday, January 30, 2013

C  I  T  Y    O  F    A  T  L  A  N  T  A

COUNCIL MEMBER JOYCE SHEPERD CELEBRATES GROUNDBREAKING OF THE BETMAR VILLAGE SENIOR RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY

NEW DEVELOPMENT REPLACES THE DEMOLISHED LAKEWOOD COURTS COMPLEX

ATLANTA – Residents of the Betmar LaVilla community can celebrate progress on the latest neighborhood development as Atlanta City Council Member Joyce Sheperd is set to attend the groundbreaking of Betmar Village. Sheperd along with representatives from National Church Residences and community residents will gather to mark the beginning of construction on the 48-unit affordable senior community.

The groundbreaking will take place Wednesday, January 9 at 2 p.m.

Located at 345 Ashwood Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30315, the site is the location of the old Lakewood Courts Apartment complex, which was often the site of crime and other public safety issues for several years.

“The Betmar LaVilla community voted to purchase the property using the Empower Zone funds years ago,” said Sheperd at the time of the Lakewood Courts demolition last spring. “This demolition and redevelopment is the literal realization of the dreams and visions of the community – it’s time for a new beginning.”

Recently, the Atlanta Fire Department used the vacant property to conduct some realistic training for Fire Recruits just before the demolition.

The Renewal Community is the successor to Atlanta’s $100 million Empowerment Zone, a federal program conceived during the Clinton administration to help pump life into ailing inner-city neighborhoods. Atlanta’s Empowerment Zone covered 30 neighborhoods, including Vine City, Cabbagetown, Summerhill, the Pryor Road corridor, and the Old Fourth Ward, neighborhoods that for years had battled some of the city’s worst crime while fighting high unemployment rates and alarming school dropout and poverty rates. Developments like these help turn neighborhoods around.

The Betmar Village Development is designed to serve low income seniors (62+ years). It shall include all new construction and amenities such as gated entry access, washer and dryer connections, dishwashers, energy efficient appliances, and a business center with Wi-Fi internet access.  Moreover the community will have an activities director, an outdoor gazebo and picnic area, and a community room to foster interaction among the residents.