Residents of the Antoine Corridor recently attended a meeting with designers and developers to take a look at pictures and sketches of what their neighborhood could one day look like. They were also able to give their own ideas.
Melanie Fahey is with the Near Northwest Management District, the group spearheading the revitalization.
“The community is really excited about this. When the planners threw up these sketches, there was just this ‘ohhhhhh.’ This community has waited a long time for these changes and just can’t wait.”
Two of the most run down vacant apartment complexes you can imagine were recently torn down after years of complaining by residents and businesses. The new plans for those areas are as nice as any in Houston:
“Turning that into sort of a town home community and bringing the bayou into the community. Putting a canal that would kind of run along those townhomes ending in a park.”
I asked Fahey if you run the risk of making the area so nice that the low income residents wind up priced out of their own neighborhood.
“That is a possibility, but you have to remember that this is a long range plan. None of this is going to happen overnight. The ideas that were presented last week are going to take about twenty years to come to fruition.”
It’s not just townhomes and canals that might spruce up the area. There are plans to change even the little things like shelters at bus stops.
“The style of the shelter, like we had one photograph that was brick and timber and had sort of a wooded look about it. And then, the bus stop the people liked, the majority of people liked had sort of an art deco look to it.”
Fahey stresses the changes will take place over a long period of time. The first step is finding the money to fund the projects.